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SAUDI ARABIA - Telecoms & IT

Hatem Bugshan

CEO, Big Innovation Centre (BIC) MENA


Hatem Bugshan received his PhD from University of London. His research stream is intellectual property rights and open innovation in the sector of ICT. He has published in high-quality, peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Strategic Marketing, Journal of Enterprise Information Management, and Qualitative Market Research. He has also presented his papers in international conferences.

"Middle Eastern governments and businesses are starting to understand the global shift toward emerging technologies due to the fourth industrial revolution."
BIC is working on becoming the leading innovation hub in the Middle East, helping to advance knowledge, education, and awareness of innovation and emerging technologies in the transition toward a knowledge-based economy.
Blockchain and AI still have untapped potential in Saudi Arabia. How is BIC advancing the adoption of these technologies?

BIC is a think tank and an advisory body formed in the UK in 2011, working with its members through the formation of task forces comprised of global innovators, thought leaders, and experts from around the world helping the client organization to understand and develop their regulatory, governance, and/or adoption strategy for emerging technology. BIC has an impressive array of clients from industry, advisory, and academia circles, and the UK government All Party Parliamentary Groups are a key user of our services. BIC is a catalyst in creating great companies and making the world an interconnected home, through promoting a deeper understanding of emerging technology capabilities and, in the case of AI, answering its ethical challenges and mitigating its risks. In the MENA region, our vision is to be the region’s leading innovation hub and advance knowledge, education, and awareness of innovation and emerging technologies in the Middle East, helping individuals and businesses progress in terms of economy, healthcare, social vitality, and culture and helping countries of the region transition toward a knowledge-based economy.

What does the partnership between BIC and Emerging Tech Hub entail?

To accomplish its vision, BIC ME has partners with the Emerging Tech Hub to create and lead an open and inclusive dialogue to ensure that policymakers, business leaders, academics, civil society representatives, and the public are well equipped to shape the world moving forward—accomplished through its knowledge and upskilling program and community platform, Emerging Technologies Councils in MENA (ETC). Initially focused on the future of AI, the program has produced a series of evidence meetings and lecture workshops supported by reports, research papers, and articles as part of its knowledge dissemination program, augmented by training course offerings to enhance the education and awareness of its membership. The Emerging Technologies Councils is working with Stanford University, CertNexus, CPD certification body, and others to offer certified courses on AI, IoT, cybersecurity, and blockchain. These powerful collaborations have a mission to galvanize a community of professionals, companies, and individuals focused on the use and adoption of emerging technologies.

As innovation has gained traction after COVID-19, how have you seen this being reflected in the evolution of network, and what are your new endeavors to back this evolution?

Middle Eastern governments and businesses are starting to understand the global shift toward emerging technologies due to the fourth industrial revolution. The Saudi government decided not to be left behind. Multiple business in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar have heavily invested in AI and other technology with the support of governments as early adopters. To support the smooth transfer and implementation of these technologies, we have added multiple certified trainings in different emerging technologies where participants can enhance their understanding and be less anxious about the implementation of these technologies. With the accelerated digitalization during the pandemic, dealing with ransomware attacks has become a nightmare for the IT and security department of many organizations. Hence, our new addition to our certified trainings are cybersecurity trainings, and we are pleased to enable the understanding of the hazards linked to a weak system and the ways to back it up and stand against ransomware attacks.



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