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May 21 2013

KACST, Saudi Aramco to discuss model incubator in Eastern Province

By MD Rasooldeen The King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and Saudi Aramco will jointly hold a workshop in Dhahran June 6 to discuss development of a specialized incubator for advanced manufacturing in the Eastern Province.

The decision to hold a workshop was taken at a recent meeting, held between Jamal Samih Al-Nabulsi, executive director of Wa'ed of Saudi Aramco, and Nawaf Al-Sahhaf, executive director of KACST's Badir program.

According to a KACST official, the new incubator will encompass the newest equipment for prototype manufacturing to help Saudi inventors and entrepreneurs better design and improve their products.

"The success of this incubator will result in the establishment of similar incubators across other regions in the Kingdom," the official said.

During the meeting, the Badir program for technology incubators at KACST and Wa'ed (Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Company Limited) underlined the importance of mutual cooperation and coordination to support technology entrepreneurship, foster Saudi innovators, and develop the sector of technology incubators in the Kingdom.

The discussions focused on ways to strengthen cooperation between both programs to stimulate innovation and encourage entrepreneurs to create promising technologies that would accelerate the growth of this sector in Saudi Arabia, thereby providing employment opportunities for the youth. Wa'ed's delegation was briefed on the efforts and endeavors made by Badir to support the technology incubators industry, nurture entrepreneurships and facilitate various opportunities for nationals to transform their concepts into successful commercial projects.

Additionally, the delegation visited a number of entrepreneurs sponsored by Badir, who presented detailed demonstrations of their unique projects. Consequently, Wa'ed expressed its enthusiasm to sponsor Badir's entrepreneurs through a funding program.

Badir program, which was launched in 2008, is considered to be a national program that aims to promote and develop technology incubators and accelerate the growth of technology-based businesses in the Kingdom. It promotes technological entrepreneurship and helps Saudis transform their scientific projects into successful and viable businesses.

Wa'ed is one of the most prominent initiatives by Saudi Aramco, which was launched to support the national economy by providing funding to local entrepreneurs to transform their ideas into successful businesses that would in return contribute toward boosting and diversifying the economy and creating employment opportunities for the Saudi youth.

© Arab News 2013

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