KFAS News

Innovation Challenge 2017
February 08, 2017

KFAS announced the ten out of twenty private Kuwaiti companies selected to participate in “KFAS Innovation Challenge Program 2017”, a four-month learning program specifically designed to drive companies in Kuwait to become more innovative. KFAS is providing this unique learning opportunities to develop private sector human capacity in business innovation for the purpose of promoting economic growth.

This unique executive educational program which is customized for Kuwait by KFAS through a partnership with the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London; one of the finest academic institutions in the world in designing and fostering innovation in the private sector. KFAS is offering this program to Kuwait’s private sector at no cost to the participating companies as part of its efforts in supporting the private sector and to be a catalyst in transforming Kuwait’s economy into knowledge based economy.

Dr. Adnan Shihab-Eldin, Director General of KFAS emphasized during a speech at a dinner held to inaugurate the program on the importance of the initiative. He noted that this year’s program is of significance due to the collaboration with the Executive Education for Business - Royal College of Arts, London, a leader in service design for business. Service design helps optimizing the customer experience which is a competitive advantage especially in today’s business environment.

Shihab-Eldin also accentuated that the program, which is held for the third year, “indicates the foundation’s commitment to spread and solidify the culture of investing in science, technology and innovation from development and growth.

On a similar note, Dr. Paul Thompson, the Rector of the Royal College of Art focused on the RCA's history of delivering customised executive education on topics that include design thinking, people-centred design, disruptive innovation and service design, adding that through this partnership KFAS would be able to unlock the talent and ingenuity of its workforce: <<Drawing on our experience and expertise in using service design, design management and inclusive design for business innovation, we will train your executives to ‘think like a designer’, to engage and understand your clients and supply chains, mapping and analysing processes and user journeys, in order to create efficient systems and services, satisfied customers, and businesses with increased capacity to innovate.>>

Mr. Rama Gheerawo, Director of the Hamlyn Centre for Design, RCA mentioned as part of his program overview speech that successful businesses are not put off by minor difficulties and set-backs. As he noted <<Innovation is messy. We should not be afraid of small failures or early failures, we should try new things and we should experiment. We often say at the RCA “fail often, in order to succeed sooner.”>>

The ten teams selected for the Innovation Challenge 2017 program represent the following companies: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), EQUATE Petrochemical, Gulf Bank, Commercial Bank of Kuwait (Al-Tijari), Agility Global Integrated Logistics, Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO), Mabanee Real Estate, Boubyan Bank, ALARGAN Real Estate, and Future Communications.

KFAS Innovation Challenge program, in the past two years, has contributed to the introduction and adaptation of innovative projects in several companies in a structured and systematic approach. The program assisted effectively in implementing the launch of new services such as; the interactive ATM machine in one of the Kuwaiti banks, and car leasing services within the parameters of Islamic Sharia. Additionally, the program helped a Kuwaiti company to aptly tackle manifesting cashflow issues related to insolvency.

KFAS Innovation Challenge has built a foundation of leaders, champions, and supporters of innovation in the private sector in Kuwait with more than 70 executives who have participated and are keen to push forward the wheel of change within their companies. This continuous productive momentum, in return will result in a growth and enhancement in businesses and corporates over the long term.