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LEAP 2023: Big announcements of Day 2—and what it means for Saudi Arabia
Day 2 of LEAP marks a big step forward for the future of technology for the country.
LEAP’s predominance as a major tech platform is evident by it galvanizing the public and private sectors to power the kingdom’s potential for economic diversification. Day 2 of the event was characterized by landmark announcements, collaborations, and tech launches – all marking a big step forward for the future of technology for the country.
A KPMG report, titled Tech Survey Saudi Arabia 2022, released on the sidelines of LEAP23, found that 80% of organizations in the kingdom are at an advanced stage of their digital transformation strategies, with the leadership support and funding required to drive their program forward.
To amplify the potential of AI and big data, TONOMUS, the company enabling NEOM’s vision to build the world’s first cognitive city in Saudi Arabia, has partnered with Oracle and Nvidia to accelerate AI-powered innovation for enterprises and government organizations.
“The longstanding alliance between Oracle and Nvidia complements Tonomus’ ongoing mission to build the infrastructure and ubiquitous connectivity required to enable the world’s first ecosystem of cognitive technologies,” Joseph Bradley, CEO of TONOMUS, said in a statement.
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With the uptick in consumer demand for cloud services and data residency, another announcement that would benefit the kingdom was Microsoft announcing its plans to invest in a new cloud data center region. Establishing a cloud region in Saudi Arabia will significantly contribute to the country’s economic expansion.
Saudi Vice Minister of Communications and Information Technology Haitham bin Abdul Rahman Al-Ohali said, “This important step is consistent with the steps taken by the kingdom to accelerate its digital transformation and strengthen its position as an innovation hub.”
Another big announcement was from Meta, the parent company of Facebook, which launched a metaverse academy in Saudi Arabia. The academy will train 1,000 students in its first 18 months to untap the potential of the metaverse ecosystem.
To fortify cooperation between the private sectors in China and Saudi Arabia and improve bilateral ties at the government level, the Saudi Arabia-China Entrepreneur Association — comprising over 100 Saudi and Chinese businesses, government entities, nongovernmental organizations, and academic institutions — was launched.