The technology and digital infrastructure company powering the world’s first cognitive ecosystem, Saudi Arabia’s NEOM, has announced a name change from, NEOM Tech & Digital Company, to Tonomus as it expands its portfolio of infrastructure projects and cognitive solutions, including AI and immersive technologies.
“The name highlights our mission to build a sustainable, accessible future. Combining the notions of ‘technology’ and ‘autonomous,” says Beverly Rider, Chief Commercial Officer and Acting Chief Marketing Officer, Tonomus.
“Tonomus will be a synonym for cognitive tech and proactive, predictive solutions that fundamentally reimagine human experiences and the way we live,” she adds.
In 2022, Tonomus is investing $1 billion in AI-driven products and hyperconnected, predictive, and proactive solutions, including NEOM’s metaverse– a first-of-its-kind, mixed-reality, digital twin metaverse.
In an exclusive conversation with Fast Company Middle East, Rider talks about the company’s effort to make NEOM an economic engine for the region and the world and how the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship will hold future technologies together.
Excerpts from the interview:
Why is the launch of Tonomus significant?
We are creating a movement of visionaries who believe in the power of cognitive technology. Tonomus’ launch signals the next stage in our growth trajectory and a sharpened focus on becoming the world’s leading cognitive technology enterprise. It represents a blueprint for expansion and a major step toward NEOM’s goal of becoming an economic engine for the region and the world.
The name change also highlights our commitment to realizing the Tonomus vision of attracting world-class tech talent to sustain and extend innovation, making Saudi Arabia a hub for global entrepreneurship.
How does the brand signal the company’s broader values and aspirations?
Technology is constantly evolving, and as a global disruptor and innovator, Tonomus is on the same forward-thinking and fast-moving trajectory – toward the future. With a new identity, renewed sense of purpose, and focus on true inclusivity, Tonomus will be a synonym for cognitive tech and proactive, predictive solutions that fundamentally reimagine human experiences and how we live.
The name highlights our mission to build a sustainable, accessible future. Combining the notions of ‘technology’ and ‘autonomous,’ it includes a central ‘o’ that evokes community and inclusion, while ‘us’ serves as a reminder that Tonomus solutions are predictive, proactive, and always revolve around humanity.
With a constantly expanding portfolio of infrastructure projects and cognitive solutions, including AI and immersive technologies, Tonomus is helping NEOM ignite economic growth and diversification for Saudi Arabia, build a wide spectrum of investment opportunities, and serve as a powerful bridge between the kingdom, the region, and the world.
What are the short and long-term opportunities that Tonomus is working towards?
Today, Tonomus is developing and harnessing the power of proactive, predictive cognitive solutions to build a future in which there are no limits to what technology can accomplish for humanity.
The cognitive technology ecosystem will be an interconnected, intelligent, and resilient environment – underpinned by unrivaled connectivity, future-ready computing capability, and global security standards.
Our goal is for this groundbreaking digital infrastructure to fuel the next wave of growth and innovation, shaping the future of technology globally, enhancing lives, and igniting economic progress for Saudi Arabia and the wider region.
Do you want Tonomus to be a playground for digital creators and innovators? Tell us more.
Tonomus is creating the jobs of the future and attracting the industry’s brightest minds. We are committed to becoming an international employer of choice that enables tech talent from the kingdom and beyond to dream big and realize their ambitions.
Tonomus and NEOM will establish a world-class innovation center that optimizes how we live. As a partner of global tech giants, Tonomus will position Saudi Arabia as a world leader in technology and attract elite and emerging talent to create a dynamic, multicultural platform for knowledge exchange on a global scale.
In turn, Tonomus and NEOM will be powerful vehicles for economic growth and diversification across the kingdom, attracting new businesses and new industries and inspiring the growth of a world-class knowledge economy.
How does Tonomus aim to build a value creation model for future technologies?
Tonomus’ venture incubation studio, Portfolio T, enables established and emerging entrepreneurs, VCs, and C-suite executives to develop Silicon Valley-modeled ventures and disruptive, sustainable solutions, powering NEOM’s sectors and ecosystem of cognitive technologies. A total of $1.5 billion will be invested in Tonomus’ venture incubation studio over five years, with some ventures already under incubation/acceleration.
Tell us about how the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship will hold future technologies together.
Tonomus’ approach to entrepreneurship fosters research and development, building a reputation for Saudi Arabia as a home for innovators, where pioneers can bring their ideas to life.
Through our venture studio, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and companies will come to research, incubate and commercialize new technologies and enterprises in groundbreaking ways. Tonomus and NEOM will offer an unrivaled innovation sandbox and a full-scale implementation platform.
Tonomus will inspire the growth of a world-class knowledge economy, embedding core technology for Saudi Arabia’s future workforce.
Tell us about the achievements Tonomus has made so far.
Tonomus is investing $1 billion in 2022 alone in AI-driven products and hyperconnected, predictive, and proactive solutions, including NEOM’s metaverse, the first-of-its-kind, mixed-reality, digital twin metaverse with human needs at its core, and our cutting-edge consent management platform designed to restore trust and place personal data ownership back in the hands of users. Additionally, 17 hyper-disruptive products are in the current, ever-expanding solutions portfolio, including a digital twin pilot for developing NEOM sites.
As part of building global partnerships, Tonomus has entered a $200 million joint venture with Low Earth Orbit satellite operator OneWeb, aimed at providing rapid and reliable connectivity and enabling NEOM’s groundbreaking ecosystem of cognitive technologies.
The joint venture has already signed memorandums of understanding with potential clients, including Aramco, STC, and Benya Capital, in multiple countries. In addition to rolling out 300km of fiber and 200 5G cell sites and investing $112 million in NEOM-wide connectivity, Tonomus has also deployed a Telco Park that will be finalized and fully operational by December 2022.
Tonomus’ Cognitive Connectivity Hub strategy comprises the establishment of ZeroPoint DC, NEOM’s $0.5 billion next-generation hyperscale data center, and a partnership with Oracle, the world’s largest database management company, as an anchor tenant for 1.5 MW capacity.
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