TAQNIA to help build Saudi knowledge economy

The first board meeting of the Saudi Company for Technological Development and Investment (TAQNIA) was held in the Saudi capital. At the meeting, board members tackled the huge effort of organizing a company with the major objective of enabling a knowledge-based economy by bringing technology and other innovation-centered businesses to Saudi Arabia.

A knowledge economy has been a major initiative of Saudi Arabia for over the past decade. The kingdom has pushed to diversify its economy and realize the full potential of its large, mostly young workforce. With investment in education, infrastructure changes, and technology, Saudi Arabia has moved away from a dependence on natural resources as a prime focus of its economy and is seeking to become a worldwide competitor in high-value technological and innovative products and services.

The board meeting was attended by His Highness Prince Dr. Turki bin Saud Al Saud, TAQNIA chairman and representative of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST); Abdullah bin Ibrahim Al Iyadi, Vice Chairman of TAQNIA and representative of the General Investment Fund (GIF); Dr. Mohammad bin Abdulaziz Al Ohali, representative of the Ministry of Higher Education; Dr. Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al Hinaishil, General Manager of Saudi Credit & Savings Bank; Khalid bin Hamad Al Juraifani, representative of Saudi Aramco; Dr. Fahad bin Abdulaziz Al Shuraihi, a representative of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC); and Dr. Abdulla bin Hassan Al Albdulqadir, a representative of the private sector.

TAQNIA chairman His Highness Prince Dr. Turki bin Saud Al Saud explained TAQNIA’s mission. “TAQNIA will fill a gap that currently exists within Saudi Arabia. By establishing TAQNIA, the Saudi Government hopes to build a number of companies based on solid industrial bases, and move towards a knowledge economy with real Saudi-based technologies.

“We have studied a number of strategies that benefit from the best practices of other countries in this field. We look forward to creating large and effective economic entities that will participate in increasing and diversifying the national income.”

He added, “KACST and other research centers have a lot of R&D services and products ready to go to market. That is where TAQNIA will come in. We will make use of the output of those research and related programs, as well as transfer technology to the Kingdom through international partnerships.

The TAQNIA board expressed their hopes that the new company will take part in creating many good job opportunities during the coming years, an integral part of knowledge-based Saudi societal and economic growth.

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