The MENA 400

The MENA 400 is the pilot project of a KAUST initiative to create an online innovation network for Saudi Arabia and MENA. In the pilot phase of the project, TTi will invite more than 400 scientists, entrepreneurs, students and business and university leaders to meet online at a private web site for six months to explore and evaluate new ideas on how to energize business innovation in MENA – starting new companies, attracting investment capital and connecting university research labs to industry needs. The work of the crowd will be guided toward identifying MENA-specific models of collaboration, technology commercialization, entrepreneurship and more.

Using crowdsourcing software from Chaordix, the online community will generate and vote on the best ideas and reach consensus on services around which to build a permanent online network for the region. There will be prizes and awards for members who make noteworthy online contributions.

KAUST’s project partner is the Arab Science and Technology Foundation , the region’s largest network of scientists and engineers..

KAUST hopes to achieve five outcomes from the project:

  • New ways to make online tools more useful for technical audiences;
  • New data and ideas about accelerating R&D, new company formation and angel investment;
  • New ways to make science and technology more accessible to entrepreneurs and SMEs;
  • New ways to use Arabic to communicate and transfer technical knowledge; and,
  • A new organization devoted to regional intellectual property and innovation.

To learn more about the MENA400 and become a participant in this unique invitation only network, please contact Terence McElwee at .