RIYADH: A major Saudi conference showcasing the latest advances in internet technology on Wednesday got underway in Riyadh.
The three-day Saudi International Exhibition and Conference for Internet of Things (Saudi IoT 2019), was opened by the Kingdom’s Minister of Telecommunication and IT Abdullah Al-Sawaha.
The event, now in its second year, is also hosting the Cyber Defense Summit (CDS) which aims to develop solutions to tackle the digital security challenges facing the country. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Al-Sawaha said Saudi IoT 2019 offered an ideal platform for entrepreneurs and businesses to share ideas and promote the digital sector.
Under this year’s theme titled “Redefining Communications,” the flagship event will highlight the growth and development of online technologies in the Kingdom.
Thousands of visitors from the Middle East and around the world are expected to attend the event being held at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center, along with 300 local, regional and global companies and more than 50 speakers.
Al-Sawaha said Saudi IoT 2019 played an important role in pushing forward the process of digital transformation in the Kingdom in line with the country’s Vision 2030 reform plan.
The minister added that the conference offered a unique interactive forum for those interested in emerging technologies including government, the private sector, internet specialists, entrepreneurs and investors.
The Saudi Ministry of Communications and Telecommunication and IT, in cooperation with its partners had, said Al-Sawaha, made significant strides in the sector toward enhancing the Kingdom’s technical and digital status worldwide.
Working with the private sector, the ministry has played a key part in upgrading and expanding broadband services throughout the country, he added, while in partnership with the telecommunications equipment company Huawei, also launched the Kingdom’s first IoT lab with a fund of $1 million to support Saudi entrepreneurs.
Al-Sawaha announced that a campaign to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation in emerging digital technologies would be launched soon.
Over recent years the ministry has run numerous IT awareness programs to support economic diversification, and more initiatives were in the pipeline, Al-Swaha added.
Speakers at Saudi IoT 2019 will share their experiences and scientific research findings, while explaining how communications technology can be applied to many areas of life.
IT experts will be running skills workshops at the event and a live show area will feature demonstrations of the very latest IoT technologies.
The CDS side of the event will feature more than 600 industry leaders in cybersecurity, along with over 50 speakers and at least 30 solution providers. There will also be an expo on cutting-edge cyber-security solutions.
Sectors being represented include government, defense forces, banking, financial services and insurance, energy and utilities, manufacturing, retail and supply, hospitals, universities, diversified conglomerates, real estate and construction.
Organized by the New Horizon for Conferences and Exhibition, the event represents a practical response to the National Digital Transformation Program 2020, launched as one of the key Vision 2030 projects.