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Saudi Arabia opens 4th IR Centre with WEF

RIYADH, July 29, 2021

Saudi Arabia yesterday (July 28) has inaugurated the 4th Industrial Revolution Centre in partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF), local media reported.

This was announced by Abdullah Amer Al-Sawahah, Chairman of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) on the sidelines of the first Saudi Forum for the 4th Industrial Revolution, reported Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Al-Sawahah pointed out that the flexibility and speed in setting policies and regulation is a key element to move forward in the 21st century, citing Saudi Arabia's experience in "THE LINE" project in NEOM, which was announced by HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence.

He considered what is happening in NEOM today is the largest innovative platform for planning urban models and future cities for the next 150 years.

The Founder and Chairman of the World Economic Forum, Professor Klaus Schwab, congratulated Saudi Arabia on inaugurating the 4th Industrial Revolution Centre, which aims to harness new technologies with the best principles of flexible governance, which need government, business, and civil society together to make technology a force for good and ensure that society benefits from it.

The President of KACST, Dr Munir bin Mahmoud El-Desouki indicated that our country needs cooperation and coordination efforts in the public, private and non-profit sectors and open channels of dialogue to increase awareness about the fourth industry and identify potential risks.

He also said that Saudi Arabia has a solid economic base to build on, through recent reforms to the governance model and the establishment of new entities such as the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA), the National Cybersecurity Authority, the Digital Government Authority, and the Research, Development, and Innovation Authority.

The forum began with the first session, which discussed "Harnessing the techniques of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to serve the development and the application of flexible governance between the government, business sector, and civil society.

President of the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA), Dr Abdullah bin Sharaf Al-Ghamdi, said in the session that the national strategy for data and artificial intelligence that will enhance the use of artificial intelligence in the Kingdom and will increase the number of startups companies in this field and the speed of development and acceleration that drives technology applications, and enhances the development of our infrastructure.

The Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar bin Ibrahim Al-Khorayef stated that all our industrial and metal services are carried out through a unified platform that simplifies and speeds up the investor’s journey, through the Kingdom’s possession today of a strong industrial base that includes more than 10,000 factories and 40 specialized and integrated industrial cities.

He stressed that all these efforts will help the manufacturing and mining sectors in comprehensive growth and it will create excellent opportunities in these sectors for entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized companies to be the primary beneficiaries of these efforts.

The first Saudi Forum for the Fourth Industrial Revolution will continue on July 29 with four sessions discussing clean-energy transformations, building smart cities for the future, restoring the ecosystem, and the future of finance.




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