RIYADH: Saudi Aramco and tech-giant IBM have announced preliminary plans for a strategic collaboration to establish an innovation hub in Riyadh.
According to a press release, the collaboration aims to support tech-driven economic growth in the Kingdom, by promoting emerging advanced technologies which include hybrid cloud, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing, in the areas of circular economy, materials science, supply chain, sustainability, security, and digitization.
“The strategic collaboration of Aramco’s leadership with IBM’s enhanced technologies, R&D, and deep expertise, aspires to achieve potential breakthroughs in the energy sector that will have an industry-wide impact,” said Aramco's senior vice president of Technical Services Ahmad Al Sa’adi.
He added: “Through this collaboration, we are seeking to leverage the next frontiers in computing to drive economic growth and enable decarbonization through digital technologies.”
Saad Toma, IBM's general manager for the Middle East and Africa said that the collaboration will help materialize the goal to create a digital-led economy, as outlined in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
“This collaboration aims to help develop local skills and talent with the knowledge and expertise needed to build this vision for the future using IBM technologies and expertise.”
The press release further added that Aramco and IBM will identify potential opportunities for the application of technologies to address sustainability challenges.
Both companies will work together to accelerate the exploration of climate mitigation and adaption solutions using hybrid cloud, AI, and other emerging technologies, to help improve carbon emission performance and prepare enterprises for the impact of climate change, the release added.
The press release further noted that the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Aramco and IMB is subject to the parties reaching the final agreement.
IBM, headquartered in New York, has a long history working with the energy industry, and the firm has been operating in Saudi Arabia since 1947, when the first computer was installed in Aramco.