Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: King Saud University (KSU), the first public university in the Kingdom announced its collaboration with IBM (NYSE: IBM) aimed at advancing skills development through AI across the Kingdom.
Senior leaders from both organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at advancing fundamental AI research and working with KSU to launch upskilling initiatives to promote AI education and awareness and leverage collaborations with academia, public, and private sectors.
The signing ceremony was attended by Prof. Badran bin Abdulrahman Al-Omar, President, KSU and Prof. Khaled Alhumaizi, Vice-Rector for Graduate Studies and Scientific Research, KSU and Dr.Hebah ElGibreen, Director of AI Center of Advanced Studies. From IBM, Jonathan Adashek, Chief Communications Officer & Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, and Saad Toma, General Manager, IBM Middle East and Africa were also in attendance. The Memorandum was then signed by Prof. Khaled Alhumaizi and and Fahad Alanazi, General Manager, IBM Saudi Arabia.
In line with the Kingdom's Vision 2030, IBM will work closely with KSU to leverage AI-driven technologies in the areas of skills, curriculum development and research to provide the Kingdom’s youth with the necessary skills needed to succeed in the jobs of tomorrow.
The collaboration marks the launch of a long-term strategic collaboration that will leverage IBM's resources, expertise, and global network to translate basic advancements into cutting-edge AI solutions with practical applications in the real world.
“Addressing the current AI skills gap is one of the most pressing challenges that we are currently witnessing especially when addressing real world problems,” said Prof. Khaled Alhumaizi, Vice-Rector for Graduate Studies and Scientific Research, KSU. We are pleased to collaborate with IBM to equip our students with the fundamental skills to develop the next generation of leaders and support our faculty members and researchers to develop advanced AI solutions with practical and tangible applications in the real world.”
"Our collaboration with KSU is part of IBM’s commitment to equitably skill 30 million people worldwide by 2030 and support the Kingdom’s efforts to build the skills and expertise needed for the marketplace said Fahad Alanazi, General Manager, IBM Saudi Arabia. “With the rapid technology acceleration we have been witnessing, the need to upskill and reskill the workforce is getting more urgent, and we are happy to leverage our programs to develop the future skills of the kingdom.”
IBM aims to provide the KSU faculty, students, researchers, and employees with the opportunity to explore educational resources, tutorials, and experiment with quantum devices through access to the IBM Quantum Composer and IBM Quantum Lab tools — currently used by an active community of more than 400,000 users globally, who have run more than 1 trillion circuit executions on real hardware and simulators. The wider KSU community will be supported by IBM Quantum as it learns, develops, and runs programs with leading-edge quantum applications and systems.
IBM will provide targeted training and technologies as part of the initiative, which supports the university's vision to be a global leader for advancing AI and its application for the good of society and business. For example, through the IBM Academic Initiative, IBM will provide KSU students and faculty with access to IBM tools, software, courseware and cloud accounts for teaching, learning, and non-commercial research. In addition, through the IBM Skills Academy program, KSU will have access to curated AI curricula, lectures, labs, industry use cases, design-thinking sessions, and an AI practitioner certification.