Join government agencies, sovereign wealth funds, VCs, accelerators, technology companies, food brands and farm operators as they explore the building blocks needed to establish an effective agri-food innovation ecosystem and a food-secure future across the GCC.
Bringing together leaders from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman, this briefing will reveal how new investments and partnerships are transforming domestic food supplies, diversifying local economies, and attracting new companies to the region.
Livestream sessions start at 9am EDT, 2pm BST, 3pm CEST, 5pm GST. All times below stated as BST.
The UAE’s National Food Security Strategy 2051 aims to increase the UAE’s use of technology across its entire food value chain. This keynote address will provide a call to action for our global audience of agri-food innovators and set the tone for the discussions and conversations that follow.
H.E. Mariam Al Mheiri, Minister of State, MINISTRY FOR FOOD & WATER SECURITY, UAE
- What factors are driving the transformation of the agri-food value chain across the GCC?
- Which areas of agri-food technology present the most exciting opportunities in this region and why? In what fields can the Middle East offer a competitive advantage over other parts of the world?
- What opportunities are emerging for international companies in controlled environment agriculture, alternative proteins and aquaculture? What regulatory and financial support is on offer in each market?
- What does the regional food system of the future look like and how do we get there? How can we ensure that nutritious foods are affordable and accessible to all sectors of the population?
Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, Founder & CEO, KBW VENTURES, SAUDI ARABIA
Ghazi Faisal Al-Hajeri, CEO, WAFRA, KUWAIT
Amine Jalal, Chief Strategy & Investment Development Officer, QATAR FREE ZONES AUTHORITY, QATAR
Saleh Al Shanfari, CEO, OMAN FOOD INVESTMENT HOLDING COMPANY, OMAN
Salvatore Lavallo, Head of FDI, ABU DHABI INVESTMENT OFFICE, UAE
Sonia Weymuller, Founding Partner, VENTURESOUQ, UAE
- What opportunities has the rapid adoption of online grocery and food-service in the Middle East opened up for new food products to gain market traction?
- What trends are retailers and restaurants witnessing in consumer demand, and what is the outlook for the next five years? How are these culinary trends guiding investment?
- How can restaurants and retailers foster increased demand for fresh, locally produced produce?
Dalal Al-Ghawas, Programme Director, BIG IDEA VENTURES, KUWAIT
Badr Zemmama, Chief Commercial Officer, SULTAN CENTER, KUWAIT
Ghanim Al-Sulaiti, CEO, ENBAT HOLDINGS, QATAR
In this session we will deep-dive into three international agri-food companies’ journey to establish operations in the GCC:
- What factors led you to target the GCC market? What support did you receive to establish your operations?
- How have you had to adapt and evolve your operations to meet local tastes and preferences? What are the opportunities for further product lines and wider regional expansion?
- Case Study 1: Controlled Environment Agriculture
Ralph Nehmé, Senior Director, AEROFARMS, UAE
- Case Study 2: Algae
Keith Coleman, CEO, SUSEWI, UK
- Case Study 3: Recirculating Aquaculture System
Christophe Lalo, Chairman Middle East, PURE SALMON, UAE
- What is needed to build an effective agri-food innovation ecosystem? How are government, investors, accelerators and R&D institutes supporting entrepreneurs from start-up to scale-up? What successes have we seen with open innovation challenges across the region?
- What is the balance needed between catalysing homegrown businesses, versus creating an environment that attracts international talent?
- How are regional stakeholders attracting qualified and skilled labour to the GCC? What will encourage entrepreneurs and innovators to establish themselves in the region?
- What are the current barriers to innovation in the region? What new partnership and business models are emerging to address these challenges?
Hasan Haider, Founder & Managing Partner, +VC, BAHRAIN
Tarifa Al Zaabi, Director General, ICBA, UAE
Sky Kurtz, Co-Founder & CEO, PURE HARVEST, UAE
Mohab Ali Al Hinai, Founder, SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENTS, OMAN
Kevin Cullen, VP Innovation & Economic Development, KAUST, SAUDI ARABIA
Yasin Aboudaoud, Chief Development Officer & Managing Partner, BRINC, BAHRAIN
The importance of multi-stakeholder dialogue in delivering a food-secure future for the GCC.
Reem Al Fulaij, Director General, PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR FOOD & NUTRITION, KUWAIT