KFUPM launches ecosystem plan on SABIC Innovation Day
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals’ ( KFUPM) Rector Khaled S. Al- Sultan unveiled the university’s Innovation Ecosystem Plan toward achieving Saudi Vision 2030, during the recent SABIC Innovation Day event.
Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar opened the event in the presence of SABIC’s Chairman Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thenayan Al-Saud, Vice Chairman and CEO Yousef Al-Benyan, senior government officials, business leaders, company executives and media representatives.
Al- Sultan’s speech included two main parts: Innovation Imperative for Saudi Vision 2030 and Technology Innovation Ecosystem for Kingdom’s conversional downstream industry.
Regarding Innovation Imperative, he indicated that a more innovative Saudi conversional downstream industry can contribute in enhancing and strengthening the entire national ecosystem.
Al-Sultan indicated that today’s innovation is totally different from that in the past, adding that individual entrepreneurial efforts — although vitally important for achieving innovation — are not comprehensive.
“Today’s innovation is simply a system of many constituents and individual entrepre- neurial efforts represent only one dimension.”
For the Kingdom to build an effective innovation model, it entails developing more capacity to innovate by: Increasing the numbers of engineers and scientists and growing the national expenditures on R&D to match those of the developed countries by encouraging private sector to invest in R&D.
Also, he indicated that the Saudi institutions can play a major role in this regard. It means Saudi universities will have to focus their efforts on producing high quality, relevant basic and applied research, foster creative thinking in students, and undertake the responsibility of developing indigenous entrepreneurial models.
At finance level, he mentioned that whole financial system of the country needs to follow the venture capital-based approach to cope with the anticipated economic changes between now and 2030.
Moreover, he described the foundational concepts that KFUPM undertook for developing its Technology Innovation Ecosystem.
KFUPM Rector Khaled S. Al-Sultan with Yousef Al-Benyan, vice chairman and CEO of SABIC and Awad Al-Maker, executive vice president, technology and innovation.