• | 1:00 pm

Saudi Arabia to invest $200 million in high-tech companies

As part of the kingdom’s Vision 2030 strategy, the investment will work towards diversifying its economy.

Saudi Arabia to invest $200 million in high-tech companies
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

Now accepting applications for Fast Company Middle East’s Most Innovative Companies. Click here to apply.

To enhance economic diversification and create high-quality technical jobs, Saudi Arabia has launched a fund worth $200 million to invest in domestic and international high-tech companies, the Saudi Press reported. 

The initiative is part of a strategy announced for the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), which aims to transform research into economically productive innovations.

The key areas include health and wellness, sustainable environment and essential needs, energy and industrial leadership, and economies of the future. 

The strategy covers three major drives: the launch of the National Transformation Institute for Applied Research (NTI) to support technology development and commercialization, the restructuring of research centers to align with national priorities for research, development, and innovation, and the formation of the new fund. 

“The new strategy builds on KAUST’s scientific and academic achievements and represents a new era for the university to become a beacon of knowledge and a source of inspiration and innovation in line with Vision 2030 aspirations,” said Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The new fund will continue collaborating with some of the largest domestic and global companies, including Aramco, Sabic, Acwa Power, IBM, Dow, and Boeing. Further, it will work alongside academic and commercial companies based in China’s Shenzhen to dive deeper into applied research involving the fields of aerospace, robotics, and microelectronics.

Saudi Arabia is projected to spend $34.6 billion on information and communications technology in 2023, placing the country as the top-spending nation for the category in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa, noted the IDC 

At the LEAP conference in February, the kingdom shared the news of more than $9 billion in investments in its technology sector, including a $2.1 billion investment from Microsoft, a $1.5 commitment from Oracle, and $400 million from Huawei. 

Entities in Saudi have similarly announced nine funds amassing $2.4 billion to support start-ups with a focus on technology.

More Top Stories: