LONDON, June 26, 2018/PRNewswire/ –Senior officials from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education and public universities, led by the newly-formed Research and Development Office (RDO), are in London to forge collaborations with some of the UK’s leading researchers and decision-makers in research and development (R&D).
The delegation’s visit follows the launch of the Ministry of Education’s R&D programme, which has been identified as a top priority by the government as a way to transform Saudi Arabia’s evolving economy. The delegation will explore R&D research and education partnership opportunities particularly in science, technology, engineering, and health fields in line with Saudi Arabia’s ‘Vision 2030’.
The Ministry of Education launched its R&D programme in 2017 and the RDO was established in March 2018 with a projected three-year budget of $1.6 billion (USD) and a mandate to enhance the capability of Saudi public universities to conduct high quality research and development. RDO has specifically earmarked $75 million (USD) of this budget for international R&D partners to incentivize scientists and researchers to find solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges – in renewable energy, climate change, pollution management, efficient water usage, cybersecurity and Red Sea studies.
The RDO delegation will meet a wide range of UK R&D stakeholders, including talks with the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Sam Gyimah MP.
Among the UK institutions meeting the Saudi delegation will be:
- Research England
- Innovate UK
- The Economic & Social Research Council
- Imperial College
- University College London
- The University of Surrey
- The University of Warwick’s Catapult High Value Manufacturing Centre
Sam Gyimah, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, said: “The UK has some of the best researchers in the world and has always been a strong believer in international collaboration. We know that science and innovation flows by the exchange of ideas and through our modern Industrial Strategy I want to develop these relationships and work with our global partners, like Saudi Arabia, to generate the ideas and products of tomorrow.”
Dr. Hisham Alhadlaq, Director-General of the Research and Development Office at the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education, who is leading the delegation echoed the Minister’s support for international cooperation and the UK’s position as a leader in R&D.
“The UK was selected for this collaborative delegation visit as it is considered a global R&D powerhouse especially when factors such as interaction with industry, cost-efficiency and RoI are taken into account,” says Alhadlaq.
“We have travelled here to understand how the more mature national R&D system of the UK was designed and how it has evolved over time. It has been enlightening to meet with Mr Gyimah, as well as thinktanks like Research England and Innovate UK, and we look forward to building on these types of partnerships.”
“R&D underpins large parts of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 transformation programme. Investing in R&D and in international partnerships will help with the creation and commercialization of new technologies – which will lead to jobs and economic growth, and play a key role in transforming Saudi Arabia’s economic structure.”
Members of the Saudi delegation also include Dr. Jasir Alherbish, Vice Minister for Scholarships Affairs and Supervisor of Cultural Attaches in the Ministry of Education, and senior representatives from King Saud University, King Abdulaziz University, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, the Riyadh Valley Company, the Dhahran Valley Knowledge Company and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.
For additional information about RDO: http://rdo.moe.gov.sa/en/
Follow RDO on Twitter: @RDOKSA
Source: Research and Development Office (RDO), Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education