Crown Prince inaugurates 7 strategic projects including 4 incubators and accelerators
Riyadh: 5 November, 2018 - Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister of Defense, launched on Monday, seven strategic projects in the fields of renewable energy, atomic energy, water desalination, genetic medicine and the aircraft industry during a visit to King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST).
He was received at KACST by Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih and head of the facility Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed.
During the visit, Prince Mohammed also launched incubators and accelerators located in each of Dammam, Qassim, Madinah and Abha as part of the Bader program, which currently heads the Arab Network for ICT Incubators and UN technological cities in the Arab world.
Nawaf Al Sahhaf, the CEO of Badir Program for Technology Incubators and Accelerators, one of the leading initiatives of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, appreciated the inauguration by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister of Defense, of Badir incubators and accelerators in Al Dammam, Al Qusaim, Madinah and Abha, during his visit to KACST.
Al Sahhaf said that the inauguration by the crown Prince of such incubation is an indication of the Kingdom's leadership's keenness to support innovation and entrepreneurship, as an engine for economic growth and jobs creation. Further, it strengthens the entrepreneurial power of the Saudi young peopleby benefiting from the growth of the small and medium- sized entereprises and works as an incentive for private sector development and diversification of the economy. The development and enhancement of the ecosystem of entrepreneurshipis an essential economic engine for the Kingdom, to keep the sector competitive in the global land scape.
He added that the Kingdom is keen to employ all its potential and capabilities to meet the elements of the sustainable and comprehensive development with a view to achieving its vision. The country attaches a special priority to the entrepreneurship sector, which is one of the key pillars of the diversification of national income sources, sustainable national economic growth, job creation, as well as strengthening the country's capabilities to move toward a post-oil economy.
Since its launch in 2008 by KACST, Badir Program for Technology Incubators and accelerators has exponentially grown supporting budding entrepreneurs and succeeded served more than 300 startups since its inception. The program currently has 248 technical projects incubated through its eight incubators across the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In terms of impact, the program –which aims to promote and enhance the culture of innovation and independent business amongst Saudi youth- has contributed an estimated 2.1 billion riyals ($ 560 million) to Saudi Arabia's economy on a cumulative basis from 2010 to the end of last year, based on the total revenues of 620 million riyals achieved by the incubated and graduated technical companies in the Program.