The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) innovation platform UpLink today signed two agreements to catalyze innovative global solutions to today’s most pressing environmental and sustainability challenges.
Signed on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024 in Davos, Switzerland, by His Excellency Faisal F. Alibrahim, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Economy and Planning and Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum, the agreements focus on ‘Catalyzing Innovation for an Ocean Positive Economy’ and ‘Catalyzing Innovation for a Positive Circular Carbon Economy (CCE).’
The two agreements aim to foster innovation ecosystems around early-stage impact entrepreneurs to stimulate investments and support for breakthrough solutions that address critical sustainable development challenges including ocean degradation, biodiversity loss, and the circular carbon economy.
The initiative is spearheaded by the Ministry of Economy and Planning (MEP), in partnership with the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA), the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) and the WAVE Initiative under FII.
Commenting on the signing of the new agreements at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024, His Excellency Alibrahim said, “Saudi Arabia is determined to meet this moment of deepening climate and sustainable development challenges with responsible environmental stewardship, and driving transformative investments in breakthrough, innovative and scalable technological solutions.
“By expanding our collaboration with UpLink, we are doubling down on our commitment to support climate-positive solutions that can help build a sustainable and resilient resource future, while unlocking inclusive economic growth opportunities, in line with the Kingdom’s commitment to realizing the sustainable development agenda at the national and international level.”
John Dutton, Head of UpLink, highlighted the urgency of addressing the climate emergency, underscoring the importance of rapid, coordinated action. “Innovative solutions from early-stage entrepreneurs are crucial for realizing the Sustainable Development Goals.
“UpLink, in partnership with global collaborators, is developing a supportive ecosystem for these entrepreneurs, providing vital resources, exposure, expertise, and funding. This enhanced partnership between UpLink and Saudi Arabia demonstrates the transformative impact of innovation and collaboration.
Building on the MEP-UpLink partnership established in 2022, this new agreement further advances initiatives like the ‘Food Ecosystems in Arid Climate Challenge’ and the ‘Smarter Climate Farmers Challenge,’ previously launched with MEWA. These challenges attracted over 430 submissions, leading to 22 winners who were recognized for their innovative and impactful solutions. Winners received funding, global exposure, and access to WEF and partner events.