Pi Fellowship

Ten of Aramco’s brightest chosen for Professional Innovator Fellowship

More than 1,000 employees applied for the specialized program designed to give young talent the know-how of product development.

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Ten employees have been selected for a product development program at Aramco’s Innovation and Product Development Center (LAB7) after successfully completing a rigorous evaluation process.


More than 1,000 employees applied for the Professional Innovator (Pi) Fellowship — a national specialized program to equip select young talent with the know-how of product development to contribute to the economy of the Kingdom. After thorough application evaluations and a stringent round of interviews, the top 60 candidates were invited to the Pi Fellowship Bootcamp at LAB7.


During the week-long bootcamp, the candidates — skilled in digital, electrical, chemical, and mechanical disciplines — were divided into 12 teams and tasked with one of the following four challenges: Smart Waste Management; Efficient & Smart Hydrogen Generation; Conversion of Bio-Waste to Biofuel; and Vision Impairment Navigation Assistance.Our people are our most valuable resource.


Teams worked on their solution daily, for seven days, and had access to equipment, materials, and LAB7 experts to assist in the development of their prototypes. At the end of the week, teams demonstrated their prototypes to the Pi Fellowship Committee, consisting of members of management from across the company, and the top team from each category was crowned as a winner. 


During the closing ceremony, Jamil J. Al Bagawi, senior vice president of National Champions, praised the 60 bootcamp participants for their perseverance and achievements.


“I am very happy to commemorate this historic moment of kicking off the first Pi Fellowship, and to witness your journey of innovation through LAB7,” said Al Bagawi. “Congratulations on being selected among the top 60 candidates, out of more than 1,000 applicants. Reaching this level is, by itself, recognition of your achievement.”


Life changing experience

One participant, Mayadah M. Alhashem, a multidiscipline engineer, encouraged candidates to apply for the program in the future. “It’s been an amazing experience that has definitely changed my attitude and mindset. This type of experience is the most valuable because it teaches you about yourself and sets the course on how you deal with different situations.”


Rida Bin Hashim, another bootcamp participant, said: “It’s valuable to see how products are developed, how different team members can interact to create a solution, and how different domains connect to make something tangible, something that works.”

The Pi Fellowship

The selected 10 Pi Fellows will embark on a two-year innovation journey, working on several LAB7 projects simultaneously, contributing to developing them into commercial products in preparation for market entry, and supporting entrepreneurs in establishing their start-ups. To complement the product development hands-on experience, they will also obtain a Master’s degree and a professional certification from a prestigious academic institute, such as Stanford University or King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.


A key objective of the Pi Fellowship is to contribute to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goal of making the Kingdom a leader in innovation. Mohammed A. Abusharifah, LAB7 manager, said the center will support this objective by incubating promising ideas and turning them into disruptive technology-based commercial products. 


Tahani M. AlAli, Pi Fellowship lead, added: “This is precisely the reason we created the Pi Fellowship. We plan to cultivate young talent to be the product developers of the future, so that we contribute to achieving the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 for innovation.”


Future of Pi Fellowship

The future of the Pi Fellowship program looks bright with plans afoot for greater expansion. While the first cohort was open to Aramco employees only, the next (in two years) will feature applicants from companies across the Kingdom.


Abusharifah believes the Pi Fellowship will make a lasting impact: “We started this project from nothing a few years back and we designed it for people who can take risks, who can push the boundaries of technology, and create an impact.


“It’s satisfying that we’ve started to see results, and I believe that we’ll continue to see outstanding results for the upcoming years.”

About LAB7

LAB7 is a product development center that offers a residency program and product development services to support the innovation ecosystem in the Kingdom. In addition, it offers the Pi Fellowship program to support Saudi Arabia’s young talent in product development. 


The center supplies innovators with infrastructure and incubation services to develop groundbreaking ideas from conception to fruition. With its focus on five domains of sustainability, manufacturing, digital, industrial, and social innovation, LAB7 offers the perfect launch pad for new products and startups.


For those interested in engaging with LAB7 to explore collaboration opportunities, contact LAB7@aramco.com.



— By Daniel J. Bird, Dimah K. Alowaiyydh, and Jana M. Khathlan


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