KFUPM launches ecosystem plan on SABIC Innovation Day

KFUPM Rector Khaled S. Al-Sultan with Yousef Al-Benyan, vice chairman and CEO of SABIC and Awad Al-Maker, executive vice president, technology and innovation.
Updated 30 May 2016

KFUPM launches ecosystem plan on SABIC Innovation Day

King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals’ (KFUPM) Rector Khaled S. Al-Sultan unveiled the university’s Innovation Ecosystem Plan toward achieving Saudi Vision 2030, during the recent SABIC Innovation Day event.
Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar opened the event in the presence of SABIC’s Chairman Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thenayan Al-Saud, Vice Chairman and CEO Yousef Al-Benyan, senior government officials, business leaders, company executives and media representatives.
Al-Sultan’s speech included two main parts: Innovation Imperative for Saudi Vision 2030 and Technology Innovation Ecosystem for Kingdom’s conversional downstream industry.
Regarding Innovation Imperative, he indicated that a more innovative Saudi conversional downstream industry can contribute in enhancing and strengthening the entire national ecosystem.
Al-Sultan indicated that today’s innovation is totally different from that in the past, adding that individual entrepreneurial efforts — although vitally important for achieving innovation — are not comprehensive.
“Today’s innovation is simply a system of many constituents and individual entrepreneurial efforts represent only one dimension.”
For the Kingdom to build an effective innovation model, it entails developing more capacity to innovate by: Increasing the numbers of engineers and scientists and growing the national expenditures on R&D to match those of the developed countries by encouraging private sector to invest in R&D.
Also, he indicated that the Saudi institutions can play a major role in this regard. It means Saudi universities will have to focus their efforts on producing high quality, relevant basic and applied research, foster creative thinking in students, and undertake the responsibility of developing indigenous entrepreneurial models.
At finance level, he mentioned that whole financial system of the country needs to follow the venture capital-based approach to cope with the anticipated economic changes between now and 2030.
Moreover, he described the foundational concepts that KFUPM undertook for developing its Technology Innovation Ecosystem.


Work progresses as planned on Makkah’s Masar project

Updated 08 July 2020

Work progresses as planned on Makkah’s Masar project

Umm Alqura for Development and Construction (UAQ) — the owner and developer of the Masar destination in Makkah — has confirmed that work is underway to complete the remainder of the infrastructure phase for the project.

It features King Abdul Aziz Road as its core component and is being brought to life under the slogan “Dedicated to Makkah.”

The company began the infrastructure work after completing the preliminary stage, which included the inventory and demolition of properties in the six unplanned neighborhoods of Al-Hafayer, Al-Hindawiyyah, Al-Tandabawy, Mansour Street, Jabal Ghurab, Al-Raseefa, and Al-Zahareen.

Before the work began, property treatment procedures were finalized with the owners of around 4,000 residences in these neighborhoods.

Yasser Abuateek, CEO of UAQ, noted that Masar would be a vital and distinguished addition to Makkah, as it aims to become a modern landmark and an advanced cultural destination.

“We are looking forward to cooperating with investors and companies in the destination, which will set new standards by establishing an integrated development structure and providing investment opportunities.

“Masar will play an active role in diversifying economic activity and promoting Makkah’s position as a modern developed city. In addition, it will contribute to fulfilling the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 by increasing the number of pilgrims to 30 million by the year 2030.”

The infrastructure phase of Masar comprises several key elements, including pedestrian underpasses and service tunnels 3,650 meters long and 320 meters wide over an area of 1.25 million square meters.

This will be complemented by a rapid transit bus network and the  Makkah Metro as well as car parks and bridges, connecting the destination to the western entrance of Makkah. Seventy-one percent of the bridge work has been completed with construction progressing as planned.

Meanwhile, the pouring and building of concrete blocks for the Makkah Metro Tunnel is 99.8 percent completed. The construction of Makkah Metro Station A has been 96.99 percent completed, which includes lines A and B as well as the Abdullah Areef Road Tunnel.

The infrastructure work for Makkah Metro Line B near the King Abdullah Mosque has reached 85 percent, including construction on the Mansour Road Tunnel.

Abuateek stressed that the infrastructure features an underground utility gallery dedicated to electricity, communication, sewage, district cooling, and solid waste management system services. This is to ensure that the area is prepared for development.

UAQ has devoted attention to safety, sustainability, and the preservation of Makkah’s natural environment. The company has handled the destination’s environmental elements with professionalism, particularly groundwater.