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Transformation of AlUla Gathers Pace As RCU Signs Strategic Partnerships With AECOM and Egis-led French Consortium

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The Royal Commission for AlUla signs landmark agreements with AECOM and an international French consortium comprising Egis, Assystem and Setec during the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh

World-class program management expertise combined with design and delivery experience on complex, large-scale projects accelerate RCU’s rapid progress in responsible, sustainable and community-inclusive development

Initially the program management team will implement Phase 1 of the RCU masterplan worth USD 15Bn including the 20km length of AlUla’s core historical area and encompassing key development projects for infrastructure, hospitality, arts & culture, and social and community development.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) has signed two landmark strategic partnerships that will further accelerate the regeneration of AlUla as it moves from the planning stage to implementation following the launch of its masterplan in April, 2021.

The agreements with AECOM and an international French consortium comprising Egis, Assystem and Setec set out a comprehensive development timeline based around three phases that lead up to 2035.

Phase 1 development amounts to SAR 57+ Bn / USD 15+ Bn invested in AlUla’s core 20km historical area. This incorporates social, economic and sustainability projects in five unique hubs with a focus on infrastructure, hospitality, arts & culture, and social and community development.

Signing the agreements at the fifth edition of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh, RCU CEO Amr AlMadani said: “These new long-term strategic partnerships are critical to realising our ambition of creating a global benchmark for sustainable tourism. Our new partners will be instrumental in helping us deliver a detailed and certified plan. While our focus is set on Phase 1, we will ramp up our integrated approach towards the development of Phases 2 and 3 to drive traffic and sustain a regular flow of tourists in the long run.

“As we develop infrastructure and other assets that will help to establish AlUla as an exciting business hub servicing the northwest Arabia region, we require world-class partners such as these who will be with us for the long haul and who share our desire to benefit the people of AlUla while creating unforgettable experiences for visitors.”

These partnerships will accelerate business and investment opportunities from 2022 onwards and demonstrate the pace of progress to revitalise AlUla as a responsible, sustainable and community-inclusive destination.

AECOM President Lara Poloni said: “AlUla is one of the world’s largest and most complex development projects, home to more than 30,000 sites of historical significance, and we are proud to help realize the city’s vision for the future. In partnership with RCU, we look forward to leveraging our global program management and technical expertise to deliver a sustainable legacy that transforms AlUla for generations to come.”

AECOM will provide a range of integrated services across the entire AlUla program. These include executive-level program management to integrate all workstreams and major initiatives across RCU to implement the AlUla vision and outcomes, as well as a project delivery office that will work with RCU to implement best practices and delivery from design to construction and operation.

AECOM will also lead all design activities from setting standards, delivering the digital ecosystem, leading innovation, managing designers and delivering scopes. Further, asset and facilities management will be provided for the project lifecycle along with the benchmarking and development of smart city plans and projects.

Creating opportunities for the local community is a core aspect of AlUla’s development plan and AECOM’s approach. AECOM has already invested in training 400 residents to achieve professional vocational qualifications and will provide additional professional skills development and knowledge transfer opportunities both for residents and those relocating to AlUla for work.

Speaking on behalf of the French consortium, Egis Group CEO Laurent Germain said: “Our three highly regarded firms – Egis, Assystem and Setec – are unified, committed and eager to showcase our capabilities. As longstanding members of the Saudi business community, we are excited to be part of the development of AlUla.”

The French Agency for the Development of AlUla (Afalula) was instrumental in bringing together the French consortium. Afalula Executive Chairman Gerard Mestrallet said: “Today’s agreement deepens the Saudi-Franco partnership at AlUla and across other projects in Saudi Arabia. It also attests to the depth and strength of French engineering and infrastructure expertise to confront the most challenging aspects of responsible and sustainable development.”

The Egis-led consortium brings infrastructure programme management and construction management capabilities to support on-time delivery of AlUla’s most urgent projects and long-term development. As such, it offers a new perspective on infrastructure delivery defined by a coordinated approach. A core team will be based in AlUla including high-level specialists for engineering, construction and operations management and a range of international experts to bridge any knowledge gaps.

AECOM and the French consortium share the values of AlUla’s Sustainability Charter which, through its 12 principles of sustainability, will empower the realisation of a carbon-neutral strategy and circular economy. It will also establish robust and resilient policies for the development of AlUla’s heritage and environmental targets fuelled by renewable energy with 500-plus megawatts of clean power capacity. By 2035 renewable energy will supply 50 percent of demand.

Since unveiling its Journey through time masterplan in April 2021, the RCU has made significant progress on its journey to developing AlUla as a living museum while diversifying the economy and creating a vibrant community.

USD 2 Bn has been invested in key development projects including expanding AlUla International Airport, completing the stunning and architecturally awarded Maraya multi-se venue, completing water and power-plant infrastructure in the Ashar Valley, and bolstering AlUla County’s security infrastructure.

Upon completion of the development strategy in 2035, RCU envisions the emerging city of AlUla defined by a thriving community and its ability to support residents’ ambitions, where service excellence is the norm and creativity drives a culture of adaptability and flexibility.

By 2035 RCU forecasts that the population will more than triple to 130,000 with 38,000 new jobs created and AlUla contributing SAR 120 Bn (USD 32 Bn) to Saudi Arabia’s GDP. Additionally, 80 percent of AlUla County will be home to nature reserves, with key flora and fauna reintroduced.

To learn more about investing in AlUla, visit https://www.rcu.gov.sa/en/investment

For media enquiries please contact the RCU Public Relations team at [email protected]

Note to editors:

It is always AlUla / not Al-Ula

About the Royal Commission for AlUla

The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) was established by royal decree in July 2017 to preserve and develop AlUla, a region of outstanding natural and cultural significance in north-west Saudi Arabia. RCU’s long-term plan outlines a responsible, sustainable, and sensitive approach to urban and economic development, that preserves the area’s natural and historic heritage, while establishing AlUla as a desirable location to live, work, and visit. This encompasses a broad range of initiatives across archaeology, tourism, culture, education, and the arts, reflecting a commitment to meeting the economic diversification, local community empowerment, and heritage preservation priorities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 programme.

About AECOM

AECOM is the world’s most trusted infrastructure consulting firm, delivering professional services throughout the project lifecycle – from planning, design and engineering to program and construction management. On projects spanning transportation, buildings, water, energy and the environment, our public- and private-sector clients trust us to solve their most complex challenges. Our teams are driven by a common purpose to deliver a better world through our unrivalled technical expertise and innovation, a culture of equity, diversity and inclusion, and a commitment to environmental, social and governance priorities. AECOM is a Fortune 500 firm and its Professional Services business had revenue of $13.2 billion in fiscal year 2020. See how we are delivering sustainable legacies for generations to come at aecom.com and @AECOM.

About EGIS

A major international group in the construction engineering and mobility services sectors, Egis creates and operates intelligent infrastructure and buildings capable of responding to the climate emergency and addressing the major challenges of our time by helping to achieve more balanced, sustainable and resilient territorial development.

A 75%-owned subsidiary of Causse des Depots, with the remaining 25% held by partner executives and employees, Egis places its multiple fields of expertise at the disposal of the community and makes cutting-edge innovation accessible to all projects throughout their lifecycle: consulting, engineering, operation.

Through its wide-ranging fields of activity, Egis is a central player in the collective organisation of society and the living environment of its inhabitants all over the world.

About SETEC

Setec is ranked as a global engineering leader thanks to its technical excellence, which has driven its ambitions for more than 60 years.

With 3,300 employees around the world working in numerous sectors, ranging from transportation, water and buildings to energy efficiency, digital infrastructure and industrial facilities, setec serves a growing base of customers.

Setec is also an independent group owned by its engineers, with an energy and excellence fuelled by the passion of its employees. setec people continually enhance their expertise to design, model and implement sustainable solutions for a changing world. Their curiosity and appetite for challenge allows setec to invent new businesses and innovative approaches entirely focused on meeting the needs of its customers.

About Assystem

Assystem is an international engineering group. As a key participant in the industry for over 50 years, the Group supports its clients in managing their capital expenditure throughout their asset life cycles. Assystem S.A. is listed on Euronext Paris.

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Zype Recognized for OTT Leadership and Product ROI During OTT Executive Summit Awards Presentation

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Zype Playout 2.0 recognized for ‘Best ROI’ and Matt Moore, SVP of Product, named ‘OTT Guru’ at 2021 awards ceremony

NEW YORK, Dec. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Zype, the leading video API and infrastructure platform, today announced it received two awards during the OTT Executive Summit conference. Zype Playout 2.0 was recognized for “Best ROI” in the company awards category. Additionally, Matt Moore, Zype’s SVP of Product, was named “OTT Guru ” in the individual category which identifies the executives who contributed to the most insightful learning and discussions during the event.

The “OTT Genius” and “Best of Show” Awards Presentation took place on November 18, the final day of the 2021 OTT Executive Summit. Award winners were voted on and chosen by those who attended and participated in the event. The OTT Executive Summit is a global, three-day conference that brings together the top minds in video content, distribution, and technology to discuss how OTT is enabling new business models for both traditional Pay TV providers and streaming video innovators.

“We congratulate Zype for being named Best ROI at OTT Executive Summit,” said Brian Mahony, CEO of Trender Research and President of OTT Executive Summit. “Best ROI is determined as the product or service best able to provide a financial return on investment for new OTT services or existing ones wishing to scale up. This honor was awarded solely by impressing the 1,500+ mostly executive-level attendees of the Summit, who alone vote.”

“Furthermore, I’m very pleased to announce that Zype’s Head of Product, Matt Moore, was named OTT Guru,” continued Mr. Mahony. “This is another high honor bestowed solely by attendee feedback. Matt clearly made the case for Zype, showing the value that they provide to OTT services big and small, existing or new.”

“Best ROI” – Playout 2.0

Zype Playout 2.0 was selected among 10 other OTT products and services during the “Product Speedcase” session of OTT Executive Summit. Playout 2.0 is the newest version of Zype’s award-winning live linear solution that allows users to easily build and monetize linear TV channels through drag-and-drop programming of live or on-demand videos into linear streams for digital distribution. Playout 2.0 manages all aspects of programming, distribution, and monetizing linear playout channels. The latest version also includes new analytics dashboards that provide content performance insights to measure engagement and ROI.

Playout 2.0 represents a new generation of live-linear streaming capabilities that make it possible for anyone to curate a diverse range of content types and formats into a singular linear channel. With Playout 2.0, content owners can find new life in existing assets and further monetize existing content libraries by building digital linear channels for streaming platforms. Playout 2.0 makes it simple to build and grow curated linear FAST channels, whether for always-on, pop-up, seasonal or programming marathon use cases. Providing one consolidated platform to ingest content, curate live or VOD programming into linear streams, monetize the content, and distribute to multiple digital endpoints, Playout 2.0 lowers the time, cost and expertise required to grow viewership of linear content on OTT, mobile and social video platforms.

“OTT Guru” – Matt Moore – SVP Product at Zype

Moore was recognized as “OTT Guru” for his OTT insights during the “Product Speedcase: 5 Minute Demo” of Playout 2.0. Moore is a seasoned media development leader with a proven track record of growing audiences and revenue by connecting content with technology. He joined Zype earlier this year as the VP of Product for Connectors after spending 10 years focusing on content distribution and platform partnership efforts at several media properties, including Vox Media, National Geographic, and Discovery Channel. In this time, Moore built content programs that expanded video, text, and audio publishing across social platforms, TV apps, cable networks, voice assistants, news apps, and OEM devices. Moore’s focus at Zype is on connecting meaningful, user-focused video experiences with the tools that media organizations need to build, manage, and grow their multi-platform content strategies.

“The OTT Executive Summit awards are especially rewarding because they are voted on by industry professionals and leaders who attend the event,” said Ed Laczynski, CEO at Zype. “It’s encouraging to see the industry traction around Playout 2.0. It was also a pleasure to see one of our top executives recognized by his peers for his deep industry knowledge. Matt is truly deserving of the award. His success in connecting OTT technology with content to grow audiences is unmatched.”

For more information about Zype and Playout 2.0, visit: zype.com/product/playout or https://www.zype.com/.

About Zype

Zype is the infrastructure for digital video, providing a cloud-based platform to manage and distribute enterprise-grade video across web, mobile, TV, and social media. Offering both developer-friendly tools such as customizable APIs as well as turnkey solutions for automated publishing and app creation, Zype’s SaaS enables video creators, publishers or distributors to quickly build, launch and manage superior video products at scale. With a wide ecosystem of video connectors and technology partners and an award-winning support team, Zype’s customers confidently increase reach, engagement and monetization by delivering premium entertainment experiences. Founded in 2014 and headquartered in New York, Zype is a privately held company with over 300 customers worldwide. www.zype.com.

Contact:Guy MurrelCatapult for [email protected] (303) 581-7760

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ElectrifAi Showcases Pre-Structured Machine Learning Models With SquareOne at Smart Data Summit

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Delivering fast and reliable machine learning business solutions.
JERSEY CITY, N.J., Nov. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — ElectrifAi, one of the world’s leading companies in practical artificial intelligence (AI) and pre-built machine learning (ML) models, is showcasing pre-structured ML models today with SquareOne at Smart Data Summit in Dubai.

ElectrifAi has one of the largest libraries of pre-structured ML models that has been built and battle-tested since 2004. We have also developed advanced Computer Vision models that drive workplace safety as well as reduce costs. Combined with our Machine Learning as a Service (MLaaS) offering, we are helping companies quickly realize the benefits of AI and ML.

Most companies understand that their data is a powerful, untapped asset. However, companies struggle simply to access and clean their data. Many of these same companies conclude machine learning is a distant possibility reserved only for the largest, most sophisticated Tier One players. Not anymore. With ElectrifAi’s MLaaS, large and small companies alike can extract value from their data and turn it into a strategic weapon to drive revenue, reduce costs, and/or risk. MLaaS makes it easy for companies struggling with their data or who lack robust data science and data engineering teams.

MLaaS enhances the efficiencies and convenience of ML. It is developed, maintained, and operated by ElectrifAi. Delivered as a full business function powered by AI and ML, it seamlessly connects to our client’s cloud or on-premises workloads and no ML experience is needed. We ensure the MLaaS offering provides our clients with a faster, better, cheaper, and substantially less risky way to achieve ML. With ElectrifAi’s MLaaS, clients can get ML solutions fast without the time-consuming hassle and expense of building ML from scratch.

Part of our MLaaS offering are the following pre-structured ML models: Computer Vision, Demand Forecasting, Inventory Optimization, Dynamic Pricing, Scheduling Optimization, Predictive Maintenance, Customer Engagement, A/R Collections and Invoice, as well as SpendAi and ContractAi. The Computer Vision models include solutions for Upstream, Midstream, and Downstream oil and gas companies.

ElectrifAi’s pre-structured ML models are business-ready and proven in the real-world. With a fast time-to-deployment and lower project risk, we do all the heavy lifting for our clients. Clients describe their business use case and we tell them what data is needed to run the best ML solution to solve their business problems. We train, operate and deploy the models and quickly deliver results.

“We are excited to showcase our pre-structured machine learning models and MLaaS at the Smart Data Summit. It’s all about time-to-value and turning data into a strategic weapon with high ROI use cases. With our pre-structured models, companies who struggle with data or who lack deep data engineering and data science expertise can quickly enjoy the benefits and power of machine learning and computer vision. Similarly, larger companies who have invested in platforms or who have capable internal technical teams can further accelerate with ElectrifAi’s MLaaS and pre-structured models. Why wait for machine learning? With our MLaaS offering, you can achieve machine learning in 8-12 weeks versus 8-12 months to build new models.” – Edward Scott, CEO, ElectrifAi

About ElectrifAi

ElectrifAi is a global leader in business-ready machine learning models. ElectrifAi’s mission is to help organizations change the way they work through machine learning: driving revenue uplift, cost reduction as well as profit and performance improvement. Founded in 2004, ElectrifAi boasts seasoned industry leadership, a global team of domain experts, and a proven record of transforming structured and unstructured data at scale. A large library of Ai-based products reaches across business functions, data systems, and teams to drive superior results in record time. ElectrifAi has approximately 200 data scientists, software engineers and employees with a proven record of dealing with over 2,000 customer implementations, mostly for Fortune 500 companies. At the heart of ElectrifAi’s mission is a commitment to making Ai and machine learning more understandable, practical and profitable for businesses and industries across the globe. ElectrifAi is a global company with offices in Miami, Jersey City, Shanghai and New Delhi.

About Square One

SquareOne helps organizations exponentiate their potential by partnering up with industry leaders in solutions, providing our clients a complete digital vision leveraged by the latest in tech and complete implementation with our team of experts. Square One helps organizations in their digital transformation journey with visionary, world-class software applications, powered by an experienced and committed professional team with vast experience and focus on customer delight. Square One spot early global technology trends in the digital initiatives space, partner with the best and furiously learn and bring these platforms and solutions to the region. SquareOne is the region’s leading provider of business transformation technologies, powered by best-in-class software solutions and profound knowledge of local enterprise needs from over a decade of experience, enabled by a passionate team of professionals whose expertise spans across multiple industry verticals.

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L’OCCITANE Acquires Majority Stake in Brazilian-inspired Premium Beauty Brand Sol De Janeiro

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GENEVA, Nov. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The L’OCCITANE Group, an international group that manufactures and retails beauty and well-being products that are rich in natural and organic ingredients, is pleased to announce its acquisition of a majority stake in Sol de Janeiro, an innovative leader in the global prestige body care market. Born of an authentic Brazilian philosophy of celebration and joy, Sol de Janeiro is a fast-growing, award-winning lifestyle skincare brand beloved by multi-generational, modern and global consumers from millennials to Gen Z.

Founded in the US in 2015 as a results-driven premium body care brand with highly efficacious ingredients sustainably sourced from Brazil, Sol de Janeiro is one of the fastest-growing premium skincare brands in North America, with success across body care, fragrance and hair care products. It sells both directly to consumers through its website and through various premium retailers across the globe.

The acquisition is in line with the Group’s strategy of building a leading portfolio of premium beauty brands. Sol de Janeiro is a strategic fit for the Group in terms of brand recognition and identity, product quality, management capability, as well as growth, profitability and cash generation prospects. Sol de Janeiro’s digital presence and established body care business is complementary to the Group’s balanced geographical strategy to build a portfolio of strong brands in all major geographical regions. Meanwhile, Sol de Janeiro is expected to leverage the Group’s international presence to expand into new markets.

Andre Hoffmann, Vice-Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of L’OCCITANE, said, ‘We are delighted to be further expanding our brand portfolio and accelerating our transformation into a multi-brand and geographically balanced group. With a compelling brand story and an experienced and entrepreneurial management team, Sol de Janeiro reflects our values and premium beauty image.’

Heela Yang, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Sol de Janeiro, said, ‘I have always admired L’OCCITANE, a beautiful lifestyle brand anchored in a deep commitment to sustainability, and we are thrilled to have found a home with the Group to continue to drive our explosive growth. Furthermore, we are ecstatic to have found a partner who so deeply respects our brand vision and values of inclusivity, joy and self-celebration.’

The Group will acquire an 83% indirect interest in Sol de Janeiro. Upon closing, Sol de Janeiro will become a majority-owned subsidiary of the Group.

Contact: [email protected]

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