SAGIA, KACST and KAUST ink deal to support entrepreneurs [Arab News (Saudi Arabia)]
(Arab News (Saudi Arabia) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) RIYADH-MD RASOOLDEEN | ARAB NEWS STAFFAn agreement to encourage scientific and hi-tech entrepreneurs was signed among Saudi Arabian Investment Authority (SAGIA), King Abdullah City for Science and Technology (KACST), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), and Emaar, the Economic Cities Authority at GCF 2014 on Sunday.
The quadrilateral agreement was signed on the sidelines of the Seventh Global Competitiveness Forum, which is currently being held at the Four Seasons Hotel.
The memorandum of cooperation agreement was signed by Abdullatif Al-Othman, governor and chairman of SAGIA, Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al-Suwaiyel, president of KACST, Jean-Lou Chameau, president of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and Fahd bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Rasheed, CEO and Managing Director of Emaar.
Through its Bader for ICT Incubator Program, KAUST aims to develop and support technical innovation and entrepreneurship across the Kingdom through instituting programs and strategic policy initiatives in collaboration with government, other universities and the private sector.
It has also built an effective network with entrepreneurs inside and outside the Kingdom to encourage knowledge sharing, and to streamline links between potential investors and the entrepreneurs.
Speaking to reporters following the signing ceremony, Al-Othman said the agreement is intended to work collectively by the four parties to build a conducive ecosystems for building partnerships, which would eventually boost entrepreneurship and develop the economy of the Kingdom.
Answering a question from the Chinese media, Al-Othman said the Kingdom and China enjoyed excellent bilateral trade relations. "Our scope of relations in trade is unlimited," he said, adding that the number of Saudi students who have studied in China have become goodwill ambassadors of Beijing." Adding to Al-Othman's statement, Al-Suwaiyel said that an agreement to establish a joint genomics research center in the fields of health, agriculture and environment was signed between KACST and Chinese Academy of Sciences.
"The KACST also accomplished 85 percent of Date Palm Genome Project (DPGP) in a joint effort with King Faisal University and Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing Institute of Genomics)," he said, indicating that the DPGP aims to prepare a physical genetic map of date palm plant, in addition to finding the structural characteristics of its genome, the Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) and the genetic map of all genes based on the SNPs and the Short Single Repeats (SSRs).
" The memorandum signed at the GCF is an important step in this regard. Emaar offers assorted business services to entrepreneurs locating to KACST, "Al-Raheed said, adding that they include office space (free for the first three months after relocation to KACST), conferences and workshops offering business advice, including project review services that helps analyze the value-add of individual projects. We also aim to 'match-make' entrepreneurs and potential investors." "Our primary idea is help young Saudis to find suitable business partners to develop their businesses by making the infrastructure and funding the projects," Al-Rashed, said and pointed out that Emaar (the Economic Cities Authority) is to help achieve a more even regional balance in terms of economic development and job creation.
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