KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) has concluded its participation in the sixth edition of "Innovation Challenge" program organized by Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS), in collaboration with the Executive Education Center at Wharton School - University of Pennsylvania.

NBK's participating team presented the bank's project, which included new and innovative banking solutions and services. This project was discussed with the bank's executive management led by Salah Al-Fulaij, CEO of NBK - Kuwait, Sulaiman Al-Marzouq, Deputy CEO of NBK - Kuwait, Emad Al-Ablani, General Manager- Group Human Resources, and Mohammed Al-Othman, General Manager of Consumer Banking Group. The project presented by NBK team was approved by of the management after a series of presentations and discussions, and is going into the implementation in the coming period.

The teams participating in this unique program consist of two to four members representing the participating institution. These teams engage in a real-world applied innovation journey that combines innovative learning and practical application in order to execute innovation initiatives that can provide added value to the participating institutions.

The Innovation Challenge 2020 program, which was postponed last past year due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, aimed to develop innovation capabilities in the private sector institutions, with a view to promote the culture of creativity and knowledge growth that contribute to transforming Kuwait's economy into a knowledge-based economy.

The program covered various topics and activities including successful execution of innovation initiatives, innovation planning, measuring the impact of innovation, as well as an innovation tournament workshop. However, due to the exceptional circumstances wrought by COVID-19 pandemic, participants' scheduled visit to the Silicon Valley companies in San Francisco, USA, was replaced by remote lectures and workshops.

The Innovation Challenge program, launched by KFAS for the first time in 2015, is one of the most prominent executive training programs held annually, bringing together a small group of selected companies to collaborate with prestigious business schools as they seek to develop new initiatives and projects that foster a culture of innovation within each company.

Following the competitive application process, participants spend four months learning and training, as they explore innovative ways to make positive changes in their companies. and add great value to their customer experiences. Each team then tackles a company-specific challenge and tries to solve an issue during the training period.

The KFAS Innovation Challenge has been developed specifically for Kuwait's private sector companies, over the years in collaboration with world-class academic institutions such as University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Anderson School of Management, University of California, Berkeley, Royal College of Art-London and University of Cambridge.

NBK always strives to develop its human capital and enrich their experiences as they are the main pillar for the bank's excellence and leadership. This is accomplished through constantly providing the world's best specialized training programs that meet the highest industry international standards in order to encourage professional development and successfully position our workforce to take charge as future leaders.