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Posted: July 27, 2008
KSU launches Riyadh Techno Valley project
(Nanowerk News) The King Saud University (KSU) in Riyadh has launched the Riyadh Techno Valley (RTV) project strengthening its efforts to develop a knowledge society.
Acting Riyadh Governor Prince Sattam laid the foundation stone for RTV's first tower on the campus on Tuesday.
The 12-storey RTV tower will accommodate a technology incubator, a centre for participating companies and King Abdullah Institute for Research and Consultative Studies as well as administrative and marketing offices.
Ali Saeed Al Ghamdi, KSU's vice-president for knowledge exchange and technological transfer, said the RTV would focus on three major areas - chemical technology; agricultural, biological and environmental technology; and information and telecommunication technology. "We have selected these areas considering local and global demand."
Ahmed Bakurman, director of the RTV, said the project would bring about a qualitative change in marketing academic research and cooperation with industrial and technological companies.
Abdullah Al Othman, president of the university, said the project was aimed at achieving knowledge excellence and promoting cooperation with the private sector to carry out major research work. "Our university wants to play a pioneering role in creating a knowledge society," he said.
"We want to create a conducive atmosphere for research and development in order to achieve sustained progress for the Kingdom and strengthen the competitive edge of the national economy based on knowledge," Al Othman said, and added that the KSU would continue its efforts to meet the educational, scientific and developmental requirements of Saudi society.
"Through the techno valley project, the university aims to satisfy the demands of knowledge-based industries and to commercialise its research outcomes, in addition to enhancing the research environment and encouraging researchers and graduates to participate in the incubation program and to establish spin-off companies," he explained.
Al Othman said that the KSU has established a special agency for knowledge exchange and technology transfer, and added that the agency has launched a number of programmes to boost scientific research, especially in nanotechnology and biotechnology.
Businessman and Shoura member Abdul Rahman Al Zamil, who was present at the launching ceremony said, "The RTV is a serious effort from the part of the KSU to realise the vision of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulazizto transform the Kingdom into a knowledge-based economy with the cooperation of institutions of higher learning and the private sector."
Al Zamil commended the KSU for setting up an endowment fund for research and development with the support of businessmen. "These initiatives have made the KSU an important partner of the private sector," he said, and pledged full support for the RTV project.