TAQNIA, RDIF to provide commercial launch services for small spacecraft


RIYADH — The Saudi Technology Development and Investment Company (TAQNIA), owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, on Monday signed a cooperation agreement to launch a project of organizing commercial launch services for small spacecraft.

The agreement was signed as part of the official visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Riyadh, which aims to strengthen the strategic relationship between the two countries.

Under the agreement, TAQNIA and RDIF will coordinate their joint efforts on preparing and investing in the development of technologies for launching small spacecraft into low Earth and solar-synchronous orbits as well as harness the potential commercial uses. Small space satellites of the two countries will be used as payloads.

The agreement further entails the development of research and production cooperation between Saudi and Russian specialists.

Dr. Turki Bin Saud Al Saud, Chairman of the Saudi Technology Development and Investment Company (TAQNIA), said: “We are pleased with the progress of our partnership with RDIF on the project which marks our entry to the small satellite launch market. The agreement is congruent with TAQNIA’s vision to foster international cooperation, build local capabilities and diversify the Saudi economy in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030”.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said: “The development of space technologies is a priority for Saudi Arabia and is an area that we are pleased to create new opportunities for cooperation. Our investment partnership with TAQNIA, including staff training and the joint design and development of space technologies will enable the Fund and partners to lay the foundation for implementing large-scale commercial launch projects”.

TQANIA was established in 2011 and focuses on cutting edge technology investment and innovation. The company aims to accelerate the development of modern technologies and industries locally by working alongside with other ecosystem players in the Kingdom.

Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is Russia's sovereign wealth fund established in 2011 to make equity co-investments, primarily in Russia, alongside reputable international financial and strategic investors. RDIF acts as a catalyst for direct investment in the Russian economy. — SG