June 16, 2024

UK, Saudi Arabia announce partnership on tech research

UK Science Minister Andrew Griffith and Saudi Arabian Minister of Communications and Information Technology, HE Abdullah Alswaha, have officially inked a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen research and innovation links between the UK and Saudi Arabia.

The agreement, signed in Riyadh on Monday 4 March, aims to facilitate scientific and technological breakthroughs.

From tackling urgent issues like food security to advancing clean energy initiatives, the partnership aims to foster connections in business and research and development (R&D).

In Riyadh for the occasion, Minister Griffith is also participating in LEAP 2024, a global tech event often referred to as the ‘Digital Davos.’

The memorandum lays the foundation for joint efforts to address pressing global challenges, leveraging science and technology as key drivers of progress.

Minister Griffith expressed optimism about the collaboration, stating, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is on an ambitious journey to modernise its economy, and harnessing the power of science and technology is central to that transformation. This is a huge opportunity for UK businesses, scientists, and researchers.”

As part of Saudi Arabia’s ‘Vision 2030’ plan to diversify its economy, the country seeks to integrate innovations in science and technology.

The UK stands to contribute to this transformation, offering expertise in areas such as health, climate change, and space exploration.

Plans for regular meetings between key decision-makers from both countries’ research sectors are also in place, with the first scheduled for later this year.

This collaboration builds upon the existing economic ties between the UK and Saudi Arabia. Notably, corporations like SABIC (Saudi Basic Industries Corporation) and Alfanar have committed a combined total of £1.85bn to decarbonisation and clean energy technology in Teesside.

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