Not many people are beating down the door to give their 2 fils worth on how the current economic crisis will affect Arab Entrepreneurship and startup activity, probably because it is not associated with any emotional drivers. Unlike the recent debate on GCC countries targeting expats to fire first, ahead of nationals, which is generating much discussion.
However, we are all aware of the business credo, Innovate your way out of a recession.
Which companies are best placed to do this? If you are a fan of the Long Tail Hypothesis then you will be hard at work trying to find those agile and nimble SME’s which are not suffering from dishing out layoffs, cutting costs, reducing corporate travel etc etc. A 2007 study on the Middle East SME landscape can be found here
Intel announced today its investment in 3 UAE based Tech companiesfrom it’s Intel Capital ME and Turkey Fund, one of which, Pulse, is a building automation system that provides services to the Real Estate sector across the Middle East.
Last year Intel invested in Sphere networks, a startup which delivers nex-gen network management software and was Intel’s first investment into a Gulf based company.
The Arab Science and Technology Foundation collaborated with Intel last year to produce the 4th Arab Technology Business Plan Competition. The foundation seeks to promote the advancement of Arab entrepreneurship by acting as a mediator between up and coming companies and investors.
The environment for startups and innovation is still nascent in this region, but with a large and growing young population, creative ideas need to be harnessed.
Those of you with sector specific interests will be interested to hear how the oil and gas industry, upon which the whole success of this region is based, has incorporated advancements in technology.
Yesterday, iStore announced the introduction of a New Oil and Gas Field Visualization Tool for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server. This basically facilitates decision-making to help oil companies improve their operational performance. Engineers and production managers truly light up when they see Time Chart,” said Barry Irani, iStore’s president and CEO.
“Users are excited about improved data access, but the real benefit comes from seeing the data in context over time, in ways that may never have occurred to them”. A Microsoft and Accenture research released today at the Microsoft Global Energy Forum 2009 reveals the Oil and Gas industry loses almost a half billion dollars annually due to inefficiencies around finding, using and sharing information among engineers alone.
Apparently professionals in the industry view social media as very important for productivity and collaboration but few companies have the right tools to achieve this.
In this industry collaboration is key to reducing costs, sharing enterprise knowledge and also in completing operational projects. For example, 74 percent of the 242 respondents to the survey said that these capabilities are very important in managing capital projects to drive down costs;
51 percent said they are very important in sourcing scarce technical skills needed to enhance revenues; and 50 percent saw these new technologies as very important to the sharing of health and safety advisories or experiences.
See a more comprehensive report on the Microsoft site here
And download the “Empowering Excellence in the Oil and Gas industry” whitepaper.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) published results at the end of December 2008 on the role of the Semantic Web in the oil and gas industry.
Chevron for example has 6,000 terabytes of data, and counting. It’s seen an 80 percent annual growth rate of technical data in 2007, and a 60 percent compound annual growth rate of business (unstructured) data for the last two years.
Up to 70 percent of total time is spent looking for and assessing the quality of the data found; that it is hard to trust the data found because of issues around a lack of consistent data definitions, for one thing; and that this has an impact on the ability to share data with other team members, offsite experts, partners, and regulators and landlords.
Use of Semantic Web tools and protocols can significantly reduce this time. Read up more here
Also visit www.johnbreslin.org to find out more about Semantic Web.
This could be used in the GCC power grid due to start in May
Digital Oil field Resources:-
For more information on regional startup activity contact :-
Arab Crunch Demo 2009 in Jordan on 23rd February
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