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  • Sheryll Mericido

NEOM's NIF invests in U.S. electric seaglider manufacturer, REGENT

NEOM, October 25, 2023, NEOM, through its strategic branch NEOM Investment Fund (NIF), has confirmed a recent investment deal with the U.S.-based electric seaglider manufacturer, REGENT. This investment agreement, forming part of an enduring partnership between NEOM and REGENT, is geared toward enhancing NEOM's capabilities in sustainable water mobility, thus facilitating top-tier water transportation services within the region.

As part of this collaboration, REGENT will establish a Middle East Research and Development (R&D) and Training Hub dedicated to supporting seaglider enablement, infrastructure development, and operational readiness. In addition, starting from 2024, young Saudi engineering and tech graduates engaged with NEOM will have the opportunity to partake in work placements at REGENT to gain insights into the company's groundbreaking technology.

Majid Mufti, CEO of NIF, underscored the significance of this investment as a testament to NEOM's grand aspirations of constructing a truly sustainable, interconnected mobility system. He emphasized that this strategic step aligns with Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 and bolsters NEOM's progress toward zero carbon operations.

Terry Wong, Executive Director of Land Mobility at NEOM, highlighted that seagliders represent a novel approach to coastal transportation within NEOM, serving both passengers and freight. This innovative mode of transport is set to link critical destinations along the region's extensive coastline while championing zero-carbon technologies and cultivating new industries and skills within the Kingdom.

Billy Thalheimer, co-founder and CEO of REGENT, noted the alignment between NEOM's goal of establishing a carbon-free community and REGENT's mission of creating sustainable connections through seagliders.

Seagliders seamlessly blend the speed of aircraft with the convenience of boats. They rest on a hull at the dock, navigate on wave-tolerant hydrofoils in harbors, and soar just above the water's surface at speeds of up to 180mph. REGENT's flagship seaglider, the 12-passenger Viceroy, promises a unique and comfortable customer experience.

This investment in REGENT showcases NEOM's commitment to pioneering sustainable and forward-thinking modes of transportation, contributing to the realization of its ambitious and innovative vision.

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