Abu Dhabi's G42 will continue to disrupt the status quo

Group will continue to invest in companies in Europe, MEA and Asia for the benefit of humanity

G42 is considered a champion for using AI as a powerful force for the benefit of humanity.
G42 is considered a champion for using AI as a powerful force for the benefit of humanity.

Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Sat 22 Oct 2022, 3:15 PM

Last updated: Sat 22 Oct 2022, 3:16 PM

G42, the leading UAE-based artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing technology company, will continue to disrupt the status quo in the industry and search for ways in which AI and technology can benefit organisations and society, its senior official says.

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Raffaele Breschi, group chief growth officer at G42, said the next era will be marked by its ability to turbocharge new ventures around the world.

“We will leverage the full potential of our recently launched G42 Expansion Fund to invest in companies in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and across Asia that share G42’s mission of propelling humanity forward through disruptive technology,” Breschi told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of Gitex Technology, which concluded recently.

G42 is considered a champion for using AI as a powerful force for the benefit of humanity. The Abu Dhabi-based group made its first appearance at Gitex and featured some of its innovative solutions during the five-day premier technology show in the region.

Breschi, an industry veteran who joined G42 in November 2021, said Gitex was an excellent opportunity to showcase some of the company's solutions and sign notable partnerships and agreements during the event.

Below are excerpts of the interview:

How was G42's experience at Gitex 2022?

This year represents G42’s maiden venture at Gitex and we were present in the ‘AI Everything Hall’ where visitors interacted directly with cutting-edge technology and engaged with leaders driving G42’s innovation, including CEOs and top management from Bayanat, G42 Cloud, Injazat, Khazna Data Centres, G42 Smart Nation, and other G42 operating companies.

Visitors at GITEX 2022 show. This year represents G42’s maiden venture at Gitex.
Visitors at GITEX 2022 show. This year represents G42’s maiden venture at Gitex.

At G42, we believe the answer is always ‘yes’ and at our stand, G42 and its operating companies showcased next-generation technology that answers some of society’s most pressing questions, such as: How do we create smart solutions that enable countries to serve their people better? Are we mapping the future for tomorrow’s world today? How do we reimagine health, enhance human performance and protect life?

We also had May Ali, the host of our newly-launched podcast, G42onAIr, recording live from our stand at Gitex to answer some of these big questions about the present and future of technology.

Beyond our exhibitor stand, we were also looking forward to connecting with technology leaders from around the world through panel discussions hosted by Gitex. Three of our prominent AI and cloud computing experts – including Ashish Koshy, CEO of G42 Healthcare; Dr Prashanth Marpu, director of Bayanat Geospatial Centre of Excellence; and Rajnish Sharma, director of IT Infrastructure and DevOps at G42 – presented valuable insights on some of the pressing issues the company is working to address, demonstrating G42’s commitment to developing high-impact technology to solve the world’s most complex problems.

Any specific deals signed during the five-day event?

We see Gitex as a valuable opportunity to form and announce new partnerships with like-minded industry leaders and organisations that are accelerating the use of AI as a force for societal good. We have announced several partnerships and agreements already and we are looking forward to announcing more deals in due course of time.

A few notable partnerships and agreements inked during Gitex include:

● G42 and Benya Group, the leading digital and ICT infrastructure provider in Egypt and the MEA region, partnered to deliver AI and critical telecom infrastructure in Egypt. Through the equity-based partnership, G42 aims to provide the capital and counsel needed to develop the region’s technology sector further, delivering critical infrastructure, such as data centres, telecommunications towers, and cloud technology.

● G42 Healthcare and Amazon Web Services signed an MoU to collaborate to bring global access to G42 Healthcare's world-leading next-generation sequencing, proteomics, and data analytics capabilities to governments, population genome programmes, and life science initiatives.

● G42 Cloud and Accenture signed MoU to enable regional organisations in their journey to modernise and transform into cloud-first businesses. The collaboration combines G42 Cloud’s scalable cloud infrastructure offering and Accenture’s expertise in industrial consulting and cloud migrations.

● G42 Cloud signed an MoU with PwC signed, for the company to become a consultancy partner for G42 Cloud, allowing customers to rely on PwC in migrating to the G42 Cloud.

● Injazat signed a partnership with Saudi-based Nesma at the Injazat stand at Gitex to offer key digital services and solutions in the kingdom. The new company will provide solutions in systems integration, managed IT services, digital transformation, cyber security, and digital platforms across various sectors

Which technology solutions showcased at G42 stand at the event?

We showcased a number of new an innovative technologies at Gitex. Notably, two of our progressive technology solutions from Bayanat we’re on display at our stand in the AI Everything Hall. First, we featured a scale model of our Digital Twin technology, which is one of Bayanat’s most transformative, AI-driven technologies. At the heart of TXAI, the first self-driving taxi service in the Mena region, Bayanat’s digital twin provides data to the self-driving vehicle and fleet management system. The Digital Twin produces simulations of how a physical object or system will be affected by changing conditions through multi-source data management, location big data analytics, and data visualisation. In addition, we also showcased our Digital Sand Table, which allows secure route planning and panoramic street viewing.

G42 Smart Nation showcased its Video Brain solution – a full stack video analysis AI platform that combines data from fragmented standalone systems to add value to the end user through its advanced analytics capabilities. With its fully integrated AI Video Analysis Platform, Video Brain unlocks unparalleled insights on moving vehicles, people and objects and potentially threatening events and behaviours. When paired with a digital twin command and control platform Video Brain triggers real-time alerting and action. This solution was used at Expo 2020 Dubai to keep millions of visitors safe and provide a safe and seamless visitor experience.

How was 2022 for G42 so far, and how do you see the 2023 outlook for the company?

2022 has been a strong year for G42’s growth and advancement in deploying AI across industries and geographies. Earlier in the year, we reimagined who we are as a growing organisation and launched a refreshed brand that reflects our ambitions for transforming society through advanced technology and AI implementation globally.

Through strategic partnerships in a number of our operating companies, we have expanded the reach of AI and technology, fulfilling our goal to drive progress and tackle industry challenges.

We recently announced that G42 Healthcare would merge with Mubadala Health to create a new, first-of-its-kind integrated healthcare company, operating at the forefront of medical research and innovation. This is just one example of how we are leveraging data and artificial intelligence to transform traditional industries like healthcare. Additional partnerships this year include G42 Cloud’s strategic collaborations with IBM and The Government of Serbia.

Recently, G42 signed a MoU with the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Under this MoU, G42 will work with the Ministry to explore the use of Big Data analytics and digital use cases in government, with a focus on healthcare, finance, safety & security, and developing digital twin technologies for Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana.

As we look toward 2023, the next era of G42 will be marked by our ability to turbocharge new ventures worldwide. We will leverage the full potential of our recently launched G42 Expansion Fund to invest in companies in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and across Asia that share G42’s mission of propelling humanity forward through disruptive technology.

What is your growth strategy in the post-Covid-19 era?

Since our founding in 2018, G42 has continuously reimagined what technology can do, applying advanced thinking and innovation to accelerate progress, while exploring the frontiers for the next breakthrough. The UAE is transitioning from a natural resource economy into a knowledge-based economy, and to do so, technology is going to play a key part. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated many of these trends globally, as organisations are more reliant on technology and more interested in their digital transformation.

Moving forward, G42 will continue to disrupt the status quo and search for ways in which AI and technology can benefit organisations and society. Through strategic partnerships and by joining forces with nations and organisations, our operating companies will deploy high-impact AI solutions optimised to transform a wide range of industries such as healthcare, smart cities, government, financial services, oil & gas, education, geospatial, aviation, and sports.

How do you evaluate the future of technology in terms of offering solutions to various challenges in energy, healthcare and the environment?

For us, the answer is always ‘yes’ when it comes to society’s most important questions and challenges. Our inquisitive nature and purposeful focus help us understand where the world can go and the role we ought to play. Our ecosystem is capable of delivering the full spectrum of AI solutions across a variety of industries thanks to end-to-end products and services that range from designing send developing data centres, to geospatial intelligence, and everything in between.

As the world evolves, technology will continue to play an integral role in advancing and transforming society. The future of our environment relies on smart decisions we make today, so we are examining how to create a more sustainable and better future across all aspects of our work.

For example, in line with the UAE’s vision to be net zero by 2050, G42 and our operating companies are emerging as a model for sustainable and responsible technology solutions. Knowing that the main environmental impact of cloud computing is the sheer amount of electricity required to both power servers and keep them cool – especially in climates like the UAE where the temperature is naturally hot – Khazna Data Centres’ facilities are fitted with solar panels and efficient cooling systems that use recycled water. The company will soon be using AI to gather live data across facilities to pinpoint where upgrades will lead to even greater efficiency.

G42 Healthcare is harnessing data and emerging technologies to create a transformative shift in the traditional healthcare paradigm. The company established the region’s first dedicated contract research organisation (IROS) for conducting clinical research with and for local populations, and built the Omics Centre of Excellence, the region’s largest and most technologically advanced Omics facility. As enablers of the one million Emirati Genome Programme, G42 Healthcare is one of the largest providers of sequencing as a service in the region, and together with its multi omics offerings, consumer genomics and wastewater analysis program, the company enables precision, predictive, personalised, and population health, accelerates innovation and R&D efforts and takes well-informed decisions based on big data across the entire healthcare spectrum.

Finally, addressing smart and urban mobility, we are also powering progress in smart transport with the recent launch of our fleet of AV taxis known as, TXAI. A step towards developing innovative mobility solutions, these advancements are going to redefine public transport using autonomous vehicles and electric vehicles – and have the potential to be transferable and successful in other venues, such as public transportation or law enforcement.


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