Drake Star CEO forecasts tech trends at Innovation event in Dubai

22 March 2018 Consultancy-me.com

The Co-CEO of M&A investment specialists Drake Star Partners has given a keynote address on the tech trends that will shape the investment and M&A landscape at the Arab Innovation conference in Dubai.

Marc Deschamps, the Managing Partner and Co-CEO of Drake Star Partners – a global investment banking firm with a focus on corporate finance and mergers & acquisitions in the tech, media and communications sectors – has laid out his vision of the future tech economy for an audience at the annual Arab Innovation summit in Dubai; the largest gathering of innovators in the Middle East and North African region.

Developed in collaboration with the global strategy consulting firm Roland Berger, Deschamps’ presentation, ‘7 tech trends that will (re)shape the world (and redefine the entrepreneur’s economy)’ focused on the burgeoning disruptive arenas of FinTech, Blockchain, Future Mobility, Internet of Things (IoT), Robotics, Smart Cities and Artificial Intelligence.

Across the subjects, the presentation noted that $27 billion has been invested in FinTech since 2017, while 72% of sources for FinTech innovation will originate in start-ups. Companies of note currently disrupting the space include Transferwise (offering free money transfers) valued at around $1.6 billion, and the peer-to-peer lending platform LendingClub at a similar valuation.Marc Deschamps, Co-CEO - Drake Star PartnersOther areas of interest were Blockchain, with the market predicted to grow from the $1 billion invested last year to $7.7 billion by 2024, adding a whopping $300-$400 billion in annual economic value globally by 2027; Mobility – as to the autonomous driving and shared mobility markets set to change our way of life; IoT and its imagined $11 trillion economic contribution by just 2025; Robotics – expected to triple in sales to $52 billion over the same period, and; Smart Cities, with an estimated $41 trillion to be spent by cities on smart technologies over the next two decades.

At number one on the list was Artificial Intelligence. Here, the presentation predicts $25-$40 trillion to be added to the economy through AI by 2035, with huge financial impacts in the manufacturing, wholesale & retail, financial services and professional services sectors. The flipside, as the presentation says, is that ‘AI, Blockchain and Robotics don’t feed on bananas,’ with Deschamps predicting that energy consumption will rise 17% by 2030 as a result.

The theme of this year’s conference ‘Innovation in Technology’ centered on developments in six key sectors; Smart Government, Transportation, Health Care, Energy and Utilities, Technology, and Financial Services, with expert innovation industry speakers from a range of organisations including General Electric and NASA.

Commenting on the event, Deschamps said; “From what I gathered over the past few days, most tech and finance leaders agree that tomorrow’s innovations will differ from today’s in terms of their volume and impact. We are seeing a strong acceleration of financial activity in core sectors that will profoundly transform our society. Dubai’s place in the world is a perfect example of this acceleration.”

Construction consultancy Drees & Sommer launches innovation hub in Dubai

18 April 2019 Consultancy-me.com

The Middle East branch of international construction and real estate consultancy Drees & Sommer has launched a new innovation hub in Dubai

Following the appointment of ex-Ramboll exec Abdulmajid Karanouhas as its Head of Interdisciplinary Design & Innovation earlier this year to spearhead the firm’s R&D drive in the Middle East, the local branch of German-origin construction and real estate consultancy Drees & Sommer has now launched a new innovation hub in Dubai – designed as a collaborative environment to serve both external start-ups and its own employees.

“It has always been part of our corporate culture to promote our own ideas and initiatives,” said Drees & Sommer executive board member Steffen Szeidl. “Increasingly, digital transformation and our clients are calling for completely new and disruptive business models. The Innovation Centre is one of our responses to these challenges. All 3,200 staff members can upload their ideas virtually.”

According to Szeidl, from there, promising concepts and solutions addressing identified market gaps in areas such as planning, construction and operations will be developed, funded and localised for any market which sees the potential. He continues: “Adding the Dubai innovation hub emphasises our status as a global innovation company by being one of the few companies doing R&D in this region.”Construction consultancy Drees & Sommer launches innovation hub in DubaiLocally established in 2003, Drees & Sommer was founded close to 50 years ago in Stuttgart, since growing to include some 40 offices worldwide, with its global headcount of 3,200 professionals generating revenues upwards of $430 million in 2017. The firm’s offerings span the gamut of real estate and infrastructure requirements, delivered according to its ‘blue way’, which takes into account economic, functionality, and ecological aspects together.

This, for Drees & Sommer, is an important point in the regional context.  “There is a huge demand in this market for contextual solutions as most models and systems are imported from abroad with little to no adaptation to the local culture, economy, and environment,” explains Karanouh. “As a consequence of this approach, we are facing major challenges related to user-comfort, efficiency, manageability, durability, and overall sustainability and feasibility of the built environment in the region.”

Accordingly, the firm has tailored each of its innovation hubs rolled out so far across the world to drive specific initiatives. In Aachen, Germany’s ‘Silicon Valley’, for example, there is a focus on customised smart buildings, IoT product testing and cyber-security, while the firm’s Stuttgart hub focuses on start-ups and processes and its Berlin one on smart cities and smart quarters. The Netherlands hub meanwhile focuses on wellbeing and sustainable innovation.

Karanouh: “The innovation hub brings together specialists of various disciplines from across the industry as a single interdisciplinary team that advises clients from early feasibility studies all the way to operation and revitalisation of buildings to maximise comfort, efficiency, sustainability, return of investment and overall value. The platform allows for brainstorming ideas, identifying market gaps and needs, adapting existing solutions or/and developing new solutions tailored to the local market and environment.”