Dr. Khulood Almani:Leading the Way in Tech Advancements

Dr. Khulood Almani
Dr. Khulood Almani

The demand for innovative solutions has become essential for organizations seeking to thrive in an increasingly digital world. Navigating the complexities of these advanced technologies requires specialized expertise. This is where IT services and consulting firms emerge as crucial allies. With their deep knowledge and experience in crafting solutions at the cutting edge of technological innovation, these firms play a pivotal role in guiding businesses through the complications of the digital ecosystem.

Within this growing sector, Dr. Khulood Almani, Founder and CEO of HKB Tech, emerges as a renowned leader, pushing the boundaries of technological advancement and shaping the digital future. Dr. Khulood is an entrepreneur, a globally recognized AI and technology leader, and a university professor with over 15 years of experience in the field. She is a prominent Saudi figure who is passionate about driving digital transformation and supporting innovation and entrepreneurship.

Dr. Khulood’s expertise and dedication make her a powerful force in the global tech community, driving innovation and supporting the next generation of digital leaders. Her recognition as one of the top global women in tech and among the most powerful global thought leaders in AI underscores her influence and impact in shaping the future of technology.

Under Dr. Khulood’s visionary leadership, HKB Tech is in charge of AI innovation and technological advancement. This organization is dedicated to delivering cutting-edge projects in AI, Smart Cities, Deep Tech, and more. Through strategic partnerships with global tech giants, HKB Tech is spearheading initiatives that revolutionize industries and drive digital economic growth, solidifying its position as a driving force in the evolving sphere of technology.

Let’s explore how Dr. Khulood is innovating solutions for the digital era:

A Journey from Academia to Tech Accelerators

Dr. Khulood was born in the US and completed her early education in California and part of her middle schooling in Virginia, during which her father was pursuing his higher education degrees, including his PhD, in the US. At that time, she was blessed with an academic career that was full

of achievements, thanks to the support of her family, until she obtained her PhD from Loughborough University in the UK. She worked for several years as a professor at King Saud University and Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

She currently serves as the United Nations Ambassador for Women Empowerment and Peace, and she was the first Saudi to be appointed as a Senator of the G20—World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF), representing Saudi Arabia. She is also a Board Member of the World Smart Cities Economic Development Commission and a board member of the Global Science, Technology, and Innovation Committee, both operating under the auspices of the G20.

In addition to her leadership role, she is dedicated to empowering digital entrepreneurs and startups worldwide. In that space, she founded VTA in 2018, a virtual tech accelerator (UK-based) that connects innovators to the resources of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, including the funding and partnerships they need to thrive. She is also a co-founder and investor in Forward Angel Investment Co., providing financial and strategic support to digital entrepreneurs and startups globally.

Throughout her career, her work has earned her prestigious awards and accolades globally and locally, including:

  • International Leadership Award 2024 in AI and Technology
  • Ranked first among the 50 most powerful global thought leaders in AI
  • Ranked first in the world among the top 32 thought leaders in the field of technology and AI by the Mobile World Congress 2023
  • Featured among the top 50 global women in Tech
  • Awarded the Global Technology Thought Leadership Medal
  • Excellence Award in AI and Emerging Tech from His Royal Highness Prince Dr. Faisal bin Mishal Al Saud.

A Leap Towards AI Innovation

She recently established the Saudi Artificial Intelligence Center of Excellence, which is the first of its kind in the Kingdom, under the umbrella of HKB Tech. She has also signed strategic partnerships with major international technology companies, namely Google, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and NVIDIA, and in collaboration with the California Institute of Technology (CIT) as part of a global, multidisciplinary team through which she targets high-impact AI projects and invests in AI infrastructure that fuels innovation, enhances collaboration, and contributes to knowledge exchange, aiming to drive digital economic growth.

Revolutionizing Sports

An AI product developed under her leadership aims to serve the sports sector. It is a smart interactive shirt for football players, involving a system composed of IoT devices that are very precisely woven into the fabric. This system measures the player’s feelings of pain, fatigue, and exhaustion, in addition to detecting all players’ vital signs, changes in breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure.

It sends signals directly via local cloud computing to a central system comprised of a Super App that deploys artificial intelligence technology to analyze all the data collected immediately in real-time. This allows it to send alerts and signals to the coach about the need to replace a specific player at a specific time while also making a suggested schedule for players who can be replaced during a specific period using AI based on the players’ condition in terms of their feelings of pain, fatigue, stress, and other vital signs.

The idea for this smart interactive shirt came in conjunction with the Kingdom’s upcoming hosting of the Asian Cup and the World Cup. For these events, a series of strategic projects were launched under the guidance of the Minister of Sports to transform Saudi sports stadiums into smart stadiums using the latest emerging technologies.

HKB Tech, under Dr. Khulood’s leadership, was among the teams that submitted the proposal for the integrated project to transform King Abdullah Sports City into a smart sports stadium in cooperation with the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) in response to this huge project.

Innovating Climate Technology

In the climate technology space, she is currently implementing an innovative solution of carbon removal technology designed to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and convert it into useful products, thereby helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Such innovation in bioenergy with carbon capture and storage has the potential to play a crucial role in achieving global climate goals.

As the urgency to address climate change increases, the development and deployment of these carbon removal technologies are expected to be key focus areas for governments, businesses, and research centers around the world.

She is also currently building an AI drug discovery product in collaboration with NVIDIA. This software uses AI to analyze existing drugs and their effects and suggest new therapeutic applications. For example, the drug used to treat a specific disease may be effective at the same time as treating another disease.

This reduces the cost and helps pharmaceutical companies expand the circle of treatment for diseases, and it coincides with the Kingdom’s establishment of the largest pharmaceutical factory in the world.

A Guide for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Her advice to entrepreneurs aspiring to venture into climate technology is to stay informed, be innovative, and collaborate with experts in the field. They should keep updated on the latest trends, technologies, and policies driving the climate tech industry to identify gaps and opportunities. They need to be creative and think outside the box to develop sustainable solutions that address environmental challenges.

Building a strong network with like-minded individuals, investors, and organizations can provide valuable support, guidance, and funding for their endeavors. She would also stress the importance of embracing challenges, such as learning opportunities and trying to be resilient in the face of setbacks. Most importantly, they should stay committed to their vision of making a positive impact on the environment through their climate technology innovations.