SAUDI ARABIA

SAFCSP to set up 5 Innovation Hub centers powered by Google in Saudi Arabia

April 17, 2018



Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — The Saudi Federation for Cyber Security and Programming signed on Tuesday a final agreement with Google to set up five Innovation Hub centers in different regions of the Kingdom.

The agreement, which was signed by Saud Al-Qahtani, adviser at the Royal Court and president of the federation, and Matt Prater, president of Google for the Europe, Africa and Middle East region, aims at combining the local talent in the production of prototypes, mobile applications and artificial intelligence.

Speaking on the occasion, Al-Qahtani said that this agreement with a global company like Google would not have been possible without the vision and continuous support of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman.

"This is a continuation of the successes of the Crown Prince’s visit to the United States. The agreement would contribute to attract Saudi boy and girl students who have talent and innovative skills,” he said, adding that this will be a center of international standards in the industry of advanced technologies and artificial intelligence.

As per the agreement, five Innovation Hub centers will be established across the Kingdom to embrace talent and promote joint efforts to develop national capabilities in the field of advanced software. “The first of these centers, which will be set up at the headquarters of the federation in Riyadh, will be the largest of its kind in the world. It will have the capacity to accommodate 40,000 trainees in a year,” the Saudi Press Agency reported quoting the sources.

The agreement included several aspects, such as attracting and training local talent, providing educational and technical materials and advanced technology curricula, as well as providing a training laboratory in an environment conducive to local talent development, and support and guidance for local IT professionals, advanced software and artificial intelligence for developers and innovators.

The centers also target all segments of society, including school students from 8 years of age, students of vocational education as well as community members who are interested in these fields. The center will also create an environment that brings together experienced speakers, specialists, practitioners and entrepreneurs to enrich the technological innovation community.

On his part, Faisal Al-Khamisi, member of the Board of the federation and chairman of the Initiatives Committee, hoped that young Saudis interested in the field of software development will reap the fruits of this agreement in the near future because of the rare opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship in the Kingdom at present.


April 17, 2018
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