Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced national aspirations and priorities for the research, development and innovation sector that aims to enhance the Kingdom’s competitiveness locally and on a global scale, the official Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.
The two-decade long aspirations include development in health, environmental sustainability, leadership in energy and industry, and investment in future economies, in line with Vision 2030.
To achieve these goals, the research, development, and innovation sector has been restructured with the formation of a higher committee led by the Crown Prince that will enable legislation and regulatory standards in addition to project and budget allocation, and performance monitoring.
The Kingdom also aims to become a global leader in innovation, with annual spending targets in this sector of 2.5 percent of the country’s GDP by 2040, thereby adding nearly USD 16 billion (SAR 60 billion) to the GDP by the same target year.
SPA reported job creation in science, technology, and innovation is expected in the thousands.
Within these goals, human health has been given top national priority by providing top of the line digital health care and supplying the world with the latest pharmaceutical technologies based on biotechnological advances.
The Kingdom also aims to achieve a longer and healthier life for its residents by finding “radical solutions for chronic and non-communicable diseases,” according to the SPA report.
Water, food security
The next challenge that Saudi Arabia seeks to eliminate is water shortage and improve food security.
The aspirations outline the Kingdom’s path towards becoming a global model in preserving the environment and developing water technologies through means like sustainable desalination and food production through means of green spaces.
This is in addition to using existing technologies like carbon capture and low-cost electricity production, SPA reported.
Parallelly, Saudi Arabia seeks to use its vast natural resources and current advantage as a leading global energy supplier to retain its presence as a leader while innovating production of alternative energy including green hydrogen, solar, and wind.
Measures will also be taken to ensure the sustainability of the oil demand, SPA reported, in addition to developing the rapidly growing mining sector sustainably.
Investments and ‘future economies’
Another area the Kingdom is focusing on includes securing the life of future generations through investments and an out-of-the-box approach to exploring the depths of the ocean and the vast outer edges of space.
Termed ‘future economies,’ this area will prioritize the promotion of digital technologies in the priority sectors and aim to develop futuristic cities that are smart and free of carbon emissions, SPA reported.
Ambitious national projects aligned with the goals and aspirations yet to be announced will attract national and international researchers, scientists and innovators.