BEN GUERIR, MOROCCO / SCOTTSDALE, USA — February 21, 2022— Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (French: Université Mohammed VI Polytechnique, commonly abbreviated as UM6P), a leading Moroccan research university, today announced a comprehensive artificial intelligence R&D partnership with ALPHA10X, an award-winning AI startup concentrated on innovation and investment.
The partnership, to be based on the main UM6P campus in the historic city of Ben Guerir, near Marrakech, is dedicated to building Africa’s leading AI center concentrated on shaping the future of innovation and investment. Operating as a bridge between France, Morocco, and Silicon Valley, the goal is to recruit, and develop UM6P’s brightest AI graduates, in a cutting-edge, intellectually challenging startup environment, in Morocco. The venture, which comprises a UM6P investment preference, will include joint-development and technology transfer projects.
UM6P is an applied research and innovation institution, concentrated on economic and human development, with a focus on Africa. UM6P has international partnerships with leading universities around the globe, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia Business School, Max Planck Society, HEC Paris, Mines ParisTech, the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, McGill University, and Sciences Po. The university emerged as part of the "Green City" project, a sustainable city development project located outside of Ben Guerir, with a special interest in promoting research, education, and development in Africa.
ALPHA10X is an AI startup with offices in the U.S., France, Luxembourg, and Morocco. Premised on the idea that AI will make the source code of life – the algorithmic processes, machines, and computation in nature itself – available to innovation, ALPHA10X is an impact investment platform that shapes billions of data points into the actionable knowledge and predictions that investors need to understand and value their ventures. The team includes prominent AI scholars and scientists withPhDs and advanced degrees from elite schools in eighteen countries. The company has been recognized by Microsoft, in partnership with INRIA, France’s NationalInstitute for Research in Digital Science and Technology, as one of the leadingAI startups in Europe, and by the European Union for market-creating innovations that shape the future.
“We’re thrilled to partner with ALPHA10X on a range of R&D ventures well aligned to our mission”, said Hicham El Habti, the president of UM6P. “The university is a platform for experimentation, which our students refer to as a “School of Life”. We must develop and retain Africa’s top talent in Africa, and we need business partners innovating at the edge of science to realize this dream.”
“If Morocco is to become a “Startup Nation” we must cultivate an ecosystem of innovation in the country,” said Professor Amal El Fallah Seghrouchni, Head of Ai Movement -International Artificial Intelligence Center of Morocco, that aims to foster the emergence of Moroccan expertise in AI. “We need Silicon Valley know-how, challenging AI projects, and investment, to develop Morocco’s potential as a leading AI hub. The ALPHA10X partnership brings all this and more.”
“Silicon Valley is no longer a region. It is a platform, and a state of mind,” said Robert Marcus, ALPHA10X CEO and a former Silicon Valley venture capitalist. “We’re excited to invest inAfrica, and to partner with UM6P. Highly-educated, determined risk-takers around the world, including Morocco, are proving that they can innovate as aggressively, create as ingeniously, and work as hard as their contemporaries in more mature innovation hubs”.
For fifty years, the global heart of tech innovation has been Silicon Valley, where entrepreneurs congregated from around the world to drive cycle after cycle of rapid advances in computing. The Valley will remain a primary source of the exponential technologies needed to build a better world. However, the Bay Area by itself cannot produce all the exponential solutions needed — solutions that can create immediate, substantial improvements in life on earth.
The globalization of R&D and innovation has devolved power away from large organizations and closed systems, including Silicon Valley itself, moving it to highly agile startups in technology hubs around the world.Emerging hubs, like Morocco, combine the same key features as the original:great universities, talent, enthusiasm, infrastructure, state and local government support, and the ability to attract private capital. The partnership is a robust proof point of that innovation potential, in Morocco. The ambition of the venture is to impact and positively improve the lives of one billion people or more, with an emphasis on Africa.