JEDDAH — Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, announced on Thursday Saudi Arabia’s national aspirations and priorities for the research, development and innovation for the coming two decades.

The Crown Prince, who is also chairman of the Supreme Committee for Research, Development and Innovation, has identified four key priorities - human health; environmental sustainability and basic needs; leadership in energy and industry; and future economies.

“This would enhance the Kingdom’s global competitiveness and leadership role, keeping pace with the directives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and strengthen Kingdom’s position as the largest economy in the region,” the Saudi Press Agency reported quoting him as saying.

At the outset of the announcement of the national aspirations and priorities, the Crown Prince said: “We have adopted ambitious aspirations for the research, development and innovation sector, so that the Kingdom will become one of the pioneers of innovation in the world.

The annual spending on the sector will reach 2.5 percent of GDP in 2040, so that the sector contributes to the development and diversification of the national economy by adding SR60 billion to the GDP in 2040, and creating thousands of quality jobs in science, technology and innovation,” he said.

The Crown Prince said the research, development and innovation sector has been restructured in order to ensure the sector’s growth and prosperity. A supreme committee headed by the Crown Prince has been formed to oversee the sector and determine the national priorities and aspirations for research, development and innovation in the Kingdom. Also, the Research, Development and Innovation Authority has been created.

The authority will act as an enabler, legislator and regulator for the sector, and will develop programs, projects, budget distribution and performance monitoring.

In order to achieve the grand ambitions announced by the Crown Prince, the authority will work to attract the best national and international talents. This is in addition to strengthening cooperation with major research centers, international companies, the non-profit sector and the private sector, which are an essential partner to lead research and development and increase investment in the sector.

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