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Saudi Arabia, US, extend collaboration at key forum

CAMBRIDGE, March 24, 2018

The second Innovation to Impact Forum is being held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) today as a commitment to fostering greater collaboration among academia, the private sector and government in Saudi Arabia and the US.

The forum, organised by a joint planning committee of institutions from Saudi Arabia and the Greater Boston area, is part of an ongoing collaboration among King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the Saudi Small and Medium Enterprises Authority (SMEA), MIT and other leading academic institutions and corporations from the US.

The highlight of the forum will be the inauguration of several collaborations between US and Saudi organizations by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, including a major new effort between KAUST, MIT and the new Saudi "destination of the future" NEOM.

Together, the three institutions will undertake new joint projects in research, student exchange, and entrepreneurship to enable the US and Saudi entities to accomplish shared innovation goals. Dr Klaus Kleinfeld said: "Thanks to the unique capabilities of MIT and KAUST, this collaboration will advance technology in many of the fields relevant for NEOM."

The 2018 Innovation to Impact Forum builds on the success of last year's inaugural meeting, which took place at KAUST in Jeddah with key decision makers and experts in energy, agriculture, technology, healthcare and bioscience. This year, in a set of roundtables, attendees will explore solutions that align with Saudi Arabia's goals for its Vision 2030 and US goals to advance cutting-edge scientific research.

In this shared spirit of innovation, attendees will strive to identify and create meaningful opportunities for researchers, students, and entrepreneurs in both nations to advance sustainable energy and infrastructure technologies, improve health, advance education for women, and foster entrepreneurship. In addition to the roundtables, the gathering at MIT will feature an exhibit showcasing technologies, innovations and technical collaborations currently underway with Saudi and US entities.

"We are delighted to bring the event to Greater Boston this year – to one of the world's greatest innovation hubs – further strengthening the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US," said Eng. Nadhmi Al-Nasr, interim president of KAUST. "With our deep commitment to advancing the innovation landscape in the kingdom, and expanding opportunities for Saudi students and entrepreneurs, this gathering and exchange of knowledge between experts will have a positive impact on our economy as well as the goals of our partners in the US"

"Thanks to Vision 2030, the kingdom is moving towards a promising future. A key element of this strategy involves building collaborative relationships around the world, including with leading universities, hospitals and corporations in Greater Boston, and MIT is pleased to bring this impressive group together for this year's Innovation to Impact forum," said MIT President L. Rafael Reif.
"Today, as we hear from our Saudi guests about their aspirations and their progress, and as we showcase the strength of our region's innovation ecosystem, we are delighted to commit to further opportunities for creative and mutually beneficial collaborations on important technology and societal issues."

This year's Innovation to Impact Forum coincides with the first official visit to the US by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who will tour a technology showcase exhibit and hold an open dialogue with Saudi students, scientists and inventors to discuss the technologies, solutions and innovations that are being advanced by Saudi talent in Cambridge, Boston and the surrounding metropolitan area. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Saudi | US | innovation | forum | Collaboration | impact | Arabia |

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