KFUPM launches ecosys­tem plan on SABIC In­no­va­tion Day

Arab News - - CORPORATE -

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.

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