Uncover Inspiring Innovative Technological Sustainable Solutions: Partnership with Al-Dabbagh Group (ADG)

Since 2020, NineSigma has partnered up with the Al-Dabbagh Group (ADG) located in Saudi Arabia for its strategic “Omnipreneurship Program & Awards addressing Innovation & Sustainability Challenges“ and has found new partners for ADG developing new collaborations to adopt innovative technological and sustainable solutions.

Till this day, the partnership has led to the launch of many innovative projects together, and most importantly 3 Yearly Grand Challenges that aimed at identifying sustainable solutions, testing these solutions and developing new collaborations with selected partners.

Due to the global crises that is threatening the world and major transformation challenges impacting the entire value chains (ex: climate Changes, resources scarcity, circular economy challenges), many scientists and innovators expressed concern over what will happen next as the 2030 SDGs target won’t be met.

And to encourage the development of sustainable solutions, ADG and NineSigma’s partnership enabled the start of this great initiative led by the Al-Dabbagh Group which has allowed many organizations globally (start-ups, corporate, academia, universities, consortiums, etc) to present their technologies by submitting their proposal and developing new collaborations on large scale sustainable projects in the middle east.

The Grand Challenges Story

The first Omnipreneurship grand challenge launched in 2020 consisted in looking at «Giving Poultry Waste a Second Life” with Tanmiah Food Company (TFC). The focus of this challenge was to find a solution that will process chicken farm waste in a cost-effective, commercially viable manner to create a positive impact on TFC as a corporate entity, on the environment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and ultimately the global ecosystem.

As a leading poultry meat producer and distributor, TFC, part of ADG, is dedicated to contributing to a circular society and are now looking for ideas which can be realized and technologies that help to find an ‘environmentally positive’ second life for their waste products.

TFC were seeking new uses and processing technologies for the waste generated by their farms. Their goal was that the waste produced becomes useful raw materials that can be used in other processes or high added value products for their core business. In a nutshell, TFC wanted the waste to become of value to the company and to the environment. This would allow TFC to offset all the costs of disposal and eventually, it should generate a ‘clean & green’ revenue from the waste.  Fresh thinking about the uses and the value of the waste could lead to new business models or cost-effective solutions that will make TFC’s waste valuable and promote environmentally friendly reuse or recycling of the generated waste streams.

In 2021, the aim of the second challenge was to find innovative solutions that will process / re-refine used vegetable cooking oils into biodegradable lubricants in a cost-effective, commercially viable manner while mitigating the impact of lubricants on the global ecosystem.

Petrolube, another entity of ADG Group, as a leading lubricant blending organization in Saudi Arabia had the goal to be a pioneer in leading innovative sustainability solutions in the lubricants industry. Petrolube Oil is dedicated to contributing to a circular economy by looking for solutions, technologies and processes that will help to find an environmental-friendly second life for used vegetable cooking oil products in the lubricant industry.

Petrolube Oil was seeking re-processing / re-refining technologies for used vegetable cooking oils. The goal is to repurpose this feedstock into useful base oils that can be used in Lubricant formulations to add value to the core business. In a nutshell, Petrolube Oil would like used vegetable cooking oils to become of value to the company and to the environment. This would allow large (food) organizations to offset all the costs of disposal and eventually, it should generate a ‘green’ revenue for Petrolube Oil. Similar to the previous challenges, fresh thinking about the uses and the value of the waste oil could lead to new business models or cost-effective solutions that will make the waste oil valuable and that would promote environmentally friendly reuse or re-refining of the generated waste oil streams.

In 2022/2023, the latest Omnipreneurship awards grand challenge launched by Tanmiah Food Company again aimed at identifying innovative technological solutions to create a sustainable ecosystem across business unit’s areas of operations. Those who have a knack for stretching limits, thinking outside of the box and a desire to build a better world are invited to participate.

TFC wanted to challenge the agricultural industry (and beyond) by seeking innovative technological solutions and approaches that allow them to transition from imported corn and soy-based feed towards sustainable, nature-positive and locally produced feed raw materials (especially grains) while maintaining the current quality standards and efficiency of the current poultry growth process. Important to TFC is that the proposed technology/approach/solution should enable TFC to produce the feed: locally, cost-effectively, at industrial scale, in a nature-positive and sustainable manner, while minimizing (international) feed transport and without negatively impacting TFC’s current business activities.

In parallel of these 3 yearly Grands Challenges, the Al-Dabbagh Group and its entities have also launched a series of more tactical Open Innovation Calls which aimed at addressing short-term technology challenges addressing more focus type challenges such as finding innovative solutions and partners for:

Discover more details on each Grand Challenges and Technology Calls on NineSights: https://ninesights.ninesigma.com

What has happened?

The outcomes of these grand challenges and technology calls have resulted in inspiring innovative collaborations for Tanmiah Food Company, Petrolube Oil, Petromin, Red Sea International, and other entities of the ADG Group to identify the right solutions and technologies and develop new collaborations with innovative organizations worldwide.

The selected finalists from each grand challenge were offered a reward prize up to US $ 20,000 each to demonstrate locally their technologies and the final winners won the prize of US $ 1 Million.

After receiving 93 proposals from different countries, the five finalists for the 2020 Omnipreneurship Awards sustainability challenge were announced at the MENA Poultry Conference 2022 in Riyadh: Insectum and Polymeron from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Proteina from Egypt and the US, Greenfield from South Korea, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University from China (Arab News, 2020).  For the 2021 Omnipreneurship Awards sustainability challenge 2 finalists were selected KAUST from Saudi Arabia and University of Putra from Malysia. As for the final Omnipreneurship Awards sustainability challenge, winners will be announced soon, so keep posted during this year for the latest announcement.

If you need more information on this project, contact NineSigma’s program manager Tom Vranken at: vranken@ninesigma.com

Get in touch

NineSigma Europe BV

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B-3000 Leuven

+32 16 24 42 80



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