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Safetytech Accelerator announces new board member


Chakib Abi Saab, Lloyd’s Register’s Chief Technology and Innovation Officer joins board of Safetytech Accelerator Limited.

Safetytech Accelerator has appointed Lloyd’s Register’s (LR) Chief Technology and Innovation Officer (CTIO) Chakib Abi Saab as Chairman of the Board, replacing outgoing Chairman Nial McCollam who is stepping down from his role after two successful years.

Abi-Saab joined LR in July 2022 with a wealth of experience in technology and digital enablement from both maritime and the oil and gas industry. He was previously with Bahri (formerly known as the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia) as their Chief Technology Officer. Before his time with Bahri, Abi-Saab held executive roles at ship management company OSM, offshore energy provider Bumi Armada and Oil and Gas Services provider Baker Hughes.

Safetytech Accelerator Limited was incorporated at the end of 2020 and started operating in January 2021 as a non-profit technology accelerator focused exclusively on safety and risk in industrial environment. Its mission is to help drive wider awareness and adoption of leading-edge digital technologies to solve the world’s most complex safety and risk challenges.

The inaugural Board of Directors included Dr. Maurizio Pilu as Managing Director and Annemie Ress, who joined as independent Non-Executive Director.

Outgoing Chairman of the Board, Nial McCollam said: “It has been an absolute privilege over the last few years supporting the effort to establish Safetytech Accelerator as a world-leading initiative. In particular, it has successfully demonstrated how the vast array of proven commercial technology and innovation capability available to businesses today, can be adapted and deployed to solve what previously were regarded as intractable or insolvable safety and risk issues. I am confident that Safetytech Accelerator, its partners and customers and their new chairman will build on these successes and move forward from strength to strength.”

Incoming Chairman Chakib Abi Saab said: “It is a great honour for me to join the Board at Safetytech Accelerator as Chairman. These are exciting growth times as Safetytech Accelerator is already operating globally, engaged with over 600 early-stage technology businesses, and has launched over 30 cutting-edge innovation pilots. My aim is to support and accelerate its mission of making the world safer and more sustainable through wider adoption of industrial Safetytech.”

Dr. Maurizio Pilu commented: “I would like to thank Nial McCollam for the pivotal contribution in the establishment of Safetytech Accelerator. I fondly recall the many deep brainstorming sessions that led to the vision and strategy that ultimately got us to where we are now. I would also like to thank him for the support, steer and encouragement in the past two years as Chair of the Board”.

On the appointment of Abi Saab, he added: “I’m delighted that Chakib has joined. He will bring new perspective from his long experience in various technology leadership positions in safety critical industries, as well as investment experience. He’s joining in an important growth phase for us and I look forward to working with him”.



About Safetytech Accelerator

Safetytech Accelerator is a non-profit established by Lloyd’s Register. It is the first fully dedicated technology accelerator focused on safety and risk in industrial sectors, with a mission to make the world safer and more sustainable through wider adoption of technology.

Find out more about the Board Members:

Chakib Abi Saab

Chakib is a global leader in process automation, logistics and transportation. His technical strength is in choosing, adopting, rolling out, and measuring the impact of new technologies to increase productivity, accelerate collaboration, and create new revenue streams. Previously, Chakib worked as a Group Chief Technology Officer at Bahri, the national shipping company of Saudi Arabia, OSM Maritime Group in Singapore, and Bumi Armada Berhad in Malaysia. He has successfully identified new technology trends, created effective administrative policies, and developed ways to communicate technology needs for global organizations.

Additionally, Chakib is currently a member of the Technology Advisory Panel at the Singapore Maritime Institute, as well as an advisor for the Motion Ventures initiative, also in Singapore.

Chakib holds a Bachelor of Business Management (BBM) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) in International Business from Letourneau University, in Texas, USA

Dr Maurizio Pilu

Maurizio is a digital technologist and technology and innovation executive with 30 years experience. After gaining a PhD in Artificial Intelligence at Edinburgh University he joined Hewlett Packard Laboratories in Bristol and Paolo Alto, CA, where he invented, published and commercialized a variety of cutting edge imaging technologies.

After an Executive MBA, he moved on to early stage venture capital where he was in charge of deep-tech investments. After being involved in high profile projects at InnovateUK, the UK’s Innovation Agency, and founding the UK’s first-ever national digital innovation centre, Digital Catapult, he moved on to Lloyd’s Register as VP of Digital Innovation with the brief to create and run its first ever digital innovation practice and contributing to transforming the business.

As part of that he created Safetytech Accelerator, where is he now Managing Director. Maurizio has 50 patents, 35 academic publications, secured over $100m of investments for programmes and ventures.

Annemie Ress

Annemie Ress is a consultant who works with leaders and businesses at various stages of growth in Engineering, Technology, e-Commerce, FMCG, Financial Services, Telecommunications, News, Media, Entertainment and Local Government. She draws on her experience as Managing Director at Innogy Innovation, an investment arm of E.on SE, Global HR Director at Skype, Global Head of People Innovation at eBay plus senior HR roles PayPal Europe, The International Petroleum Exchange and PepsiCo. She holds an undergraduate Law degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and has postgraduate degrees in Law and in German.