The Ministry of Education of Saudi Arabia is launching a transformative Research and Development Program. The Minister of Education made the inaugural press conference of the program in August 2017 in Riyadh. The program includes a set of initiatives aimed to greatly contribute to the Kingdom’s economic and social future as laid out in the objectives of Vision 2030, as well as the National Transformation Plan 2020. Today, Saudi’s fiscal spending on research and development is less than 2% of the global expenditure, which is far less than that of leading countries.
Therefore, a SAR 6 billion (USD 1.6 billion) budget has been allocated to launch and run this program throughout 2020.This budget will be allocated towards carefully planned initiatives that target:
· collaborations with leading international institutes;
- innovation projects;
- postdoctoral candidates and graduate students;
- exchange of researchers and faculty and students;
- research capital;
- Set up of local R&D hubs with leading universities in the area;
- industry partnerships; and
- other research and development priority areas.
In summary, the Ministry of Education’s message to the world is that: “Saudi Arabia’s research and development ecosystem is now open for collaboration and business.”