UK And Saudi Arabia Unveil Joint Plan To Put Research Links Into Top Gear

ON 04/02/2024 AT 06 : 55 AM

UK and Saudi Arabia agree deal to boost research links, supporting work from food security to clean energy, to boosting business and R&D connections.

UK government Science Minister Andrew Griffith, and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Minister of Communications and Information Technology, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Research Development and Innovation Authority, His Excellency (HE) Abdullah Alswaha, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding on plans to elevate the two countries’ science and research links, in Riyadh. 

The agreement paves the way for the UK and Saudi Arabia to work together on the deep science and tech breakthroughs that underpin progress, in tackling some of the most pressing challenges facing humanity, from food security to clean energy.  

Innovations in science and technology form a key part of Saudi Arabia’s ‘Vision 2030’, the country’s plan to diversify its economy and deliver on the Kingdom’s research, development and innovation priorities. Saudi Arabia is going a significant transformation that offers enormous opportunities for the UK economy to export its expertise in science and tech. As home to 4 of the world’s top 10 universities, and as just the third country in the world to boast a tech sector valued at over one trillion dollars, the UK has a huge amount to offer Saudi Arabia as a research and innovation partner.

The Memorandum of Understanding recently signed has the UK’s world-leading research expertise at its heart, setting out how the two countries will work together on the deep science, and deep tech that is fundamental to progress in health, tackling climate change, space and more. It also covers how links can be built between UK and KSA businesses, to harness innovative technologies and take the front foot on R&D. There are also plans for a series of regular meetings, to bring together key decisionmakers from both countries’ research sectors, the first of which will take place later this year.

The UK already has strong and significant economic links with Saudi Arabia – with SABIC (Saudi Basic Industries Corporation) and Alfanar committing to investing a combined total of £1.85 billion into decarbonisation and clean energy technology in Teesside. There are also growing science and technology links between the two Kingdoms – with the UK and Saudi Arabia working together on the development of space-based solar power, a technology which could deliver clean energy, day and night.