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Promoting Green Investment and Research

FII INSTITUTE

“What we need today are real-world solutions that create a positive impact on humanity. By partnering with KAUST, the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute takes the world’s best ideas out of the labs and makes them accessible to a market looking for answers.”

Richard Attias, CEO of the FII Institute

KAUST experts and President Tony Chan recently participated in a key Vision 2030-affiliated event, the Future Investment Initiative (FII), which was hosted in Riyadh in October 2021. Held closely after the inaugural Saudi Green Initiative Forum, this year’s FII summit marked the fifth edition of the annual high-level conference following its launch in 2017. The focus of this year’s event was “Invest in Humanity.” The summit – informally labeled as Davos in the Desert – brings together an influential community of global investors and innovators, including heads of state, CEOs and top entrepreneurs. Through an interactive program featuring conversations with global leaders, executive roundtables, panel discussions and networking events, the FII provides leadership on the future of global investment in key areas that advance human prosperity. The summit is held over a packed three-day period. Now in its fifth year, the FII is already having a tangible impact on shaping the future of global investment.

President Chan participated in a panel focused on investing in education. In his speech he called on universities around the world to take a leading role in developing green technologies. He also highlighted KAUST’s recent advancements in green technology and energy investment, including KAUST-based agriculture technology firm Red Sea Farms’ $10 million investment in equipment to hydroponically grow plants from seawater. He is one of eight board of trustee members for the FII Institute, the organization behind the summit. The other board members are HE the Public Investment Fund Governor Yasir Al Rumayyan; HRH the Saudi Ambassador to the US Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud; UAE entrepreneur and Founder of Emaar Properties Mohamed Alabbar; former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi; entrepreneur and Founder of the XPrize Foundation Peter Diamandis; one of Forbes’ top-10 most influential female engineers, Professor Adah Almutairi; and FII Institute CEO Richard Attias.

KAUST experts also participated in panel discussions on climate change, with professor Mani Sarathy moderating a panel on preparing cities for a warmer climate. KAUST PhD Student Natalia Odnoletkova was one of the speakers. KAUST’s Head of Sustainability Ana Margarida Costa participated in a panel on the impact of climate change, and KAUST’s Red Sea Research Center Director Carlos Duarte participated in a panel on investing in oceans.

KAUST participated in the Future Investment Initiative to advocate for sustainability and climate-focused investments

TONY CHAN President of KAUST

TAKING MEANINGFUL ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE IS A NECESSITY. UNIVERSITIES CAN NO LONGER BE IVORY TOWERS WHEN HUMANITY FACES ITS BIGGEST CHALLENGE. THE PLANET WHERE WE LIVE AND THRIVE NEEDS OUR COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY.