KSA Emphasizes Importance of Developing Innovation and Adopting Policies Stimulating Use of Science and Technology

Saudi Arabia participated in the first ministerial meeting of the Science, Technology, and Innovation Forum of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which was held virtually today, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, chaired by the Minister of Science and Higher Education, Sayasat Nurbek, and the participation of several senior officials from the OIC members countries.

The Kingdom’s delegation was headed by the President of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, who supervises the team establishing the Research, Development, and Innovation Development Authority, Dr. Munir bin Mahmoud El-Desouki, who highlighted the Kingdom’s celebration of its second space mission to the International Space Station to conduct 14 scientific experiments to serve humanity.

Dr. El-Desouki stressed that this historic event establishes a new era for science, technology, and innovation in the Kingdom, whose objectives were formed mid-last year with the announcement of HRH, the Crown Prince of the Kingdom’s aspirations and national priorities for the research, development, and innovation sector, in which the Kingdom committed itself to spend 2.5% of its GDP on the sector by 2040.

He said: “We see the early stages of this ambition, and its indicators have begun to appear, as the Kingdom advanced 15 ranks in the Global Innovation Index in 2022, and winning prizes and first ranks in international competitions has become an annual habit for the Kingdom’s students and talents, including winning 27 awards at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2023 conference as the second country in the world in terms of the number of awards.”

Dr. El-Desouki expressed hope that the forum would be an opportunity to exchange knowledge and experiences among the OIC members, stressing the Kingdom’s readiness represented by the Research, Development, and Innovation Development Authority to explore and activate prospects for this cooperation to serve all citizens of all Muslim countries, and to draw an honorable image that reflects the status of Arabs and Muslims in science and technology.

During the meeting, the participants discussed the importance of harnessing the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution in the OIC member states to improve their readiness for artificial intelligence, exchanging specialists in this field, and sharing data. They also approved the Forum’s objectives, governance, and technical committees, including new technologies, health and medicine, food security, water, climate change, environmental challenges, education, technology incubators, and science parks.

The Forum’s idea started in 2017 as a dialogue and consultative platform among the leading OIC countries in science, technology, and innovation to discuss ways to boost innovation in the OIC countries and adopt science and technology to serve development goals

Source: Saudi Press Agency