Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Dr. Munir Eldesouki, President of the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), convened a meeting at the KACST headquarters with Anne Neuberger, the US Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Tech Affairs, and a delegation representing 20 prominent companies.

The core focus of the discussions centered on reinforcing cooperation in future communications technologies, with a particular emphasis on the pivotal role of National Labs in propelling technological advancements, fostering innovation, and bridging the gap between industry and academia. This strategic initiative mirrors the objectives outlined in Saudi Vision 2030, aimed at bolstering the national economy through the establishment of science and technology parks.

Dr. Talal Al-Sedairy, Senior Vice President of KACST for Research and Development, alongside Eng. Bassam Al-Bassam, Deputy Minister for Telecom and Infrastructure at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), provided insights into the Kingdom’s communication strategies, highlighting the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and the intensification of research and development efforts to drive innovation across future economic sectors.

The meeting delved into various facets, including the implementation of Open RAN innovations, advancements in cybersecurity technologies, and the integration of artificial intelligence into smart networks. Additionally, the discourse underscored the significance of forging collaborations between academic institutions and industry players, emphasizing the pivotal role of academic partnerships in expediting innovation and facilitating the practical application of research outcomes.

Representatives from KACST, STC Group, Aramco, alongside key American corporations such as Amazon, Qualcomm, Ciena, IBM, and Ceres Capital, explored potential avenues for investment within the Garage innovation district. Discussions also revolved around joint research and development initiatives and the establishment of collaborative laboratories and centers of excellence.

The session culminated with a tour of an exhibition organized by KACST at the LEAP Tech Convention, spotlighting collaborative efforts between Saudi Arabia and the US through the Joint Centers of Excellence programs. The US delegation further acquainted themselves with the semiconductor cleanroom, fourth industrial revolution labs, and the Garage, the region’s largest deep-tech incubator and accelerator, hosting 200 companies from over 50 nations.

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