Home » UK and Saudi Arabia unveil joint plan to put research links into top gear

UK and Saudi Arabia unveil joint plan to put research links into top gear

  • 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
  • Science and technology are central to Saudi Arabia’s plan to rapidly transform its economy – a huge opportunity for UK scientists, researchers and businesses
  • UK Science Minister in Riyadh to sign UK-KSA MoU and speak at ‘Digital Davos’ LEAP 2024

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, will sign a Memorandum of Understanding on plans to elevate the two countries’ science and research links, in Riyadh today (Monday 4 March).

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. It will be signed whilst Minister Griffith is in Saudi Arabia to attend LEAP 2024, attended by some of the world’s most innovative companies. He will also meet leading figures from some of the Kingdom most promising research-intensive sectors.

UK Science Minister Andrew Griffith said:

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is on an ambitious journey to modernise its economy and harnessing the power of science and technology is central to that transformation. This is a huge opportunity for UK businesses, scientists and researchers.

Collaboration on a global scale is an essential part of realising the UK’s ambitions in science and innovation. The sheer scale of Saudi Arabia’s aspirations means this relationship will be a key part of our own hopes for science and tech, in the years to come.

His Excellency (HE) Abdullah Alswaha said:

We are proud to partner with the United Kingdom to advance science and technology and strengthen the research and development capabilities across both nations. This agreement will drive collaborative efforts to harness innovation and address health, clean energy, and climate change challenges.

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 that will be signed today 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.

Minister Griffith speaks at LEAP ’24

Minister Griffith speaks at LEAP ’24