KAUST signed a partnership with the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), to achieve investment opportunities in the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sector, build a digital transformation strategy and develop artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives.
The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) took place in the presence of a delegation from KAUST representing the University’s strategic partnerships, research, technology and SMEs departments, and led by KAUST vice president for Innovation and Economic Development Dr. Kevin Cullen.
The ceremony included an introductory panel discussion accompanying a meeting between representatives of the university and the sectoral councils to discuss aspects of the strategic partnership and activate the MoU.
As part of the collaboration, KAUST will receive a seat on JCCI’s Industrial council—the first university to be represented in this way. Other objectives of the partnership include the use of KAUST laboratories and access to the University’s latest technology as well as its participation to support local SMEs and entrepreneurs.
KAUST is focused on bridging the gap between research and industry. With access to hundreds of thousands of SMEs, as well as big corporations through JCCI, KAUST will be able to help with the participation and promotion of micro, small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurial activities.
Although JCCI and KAUST have worked together since 2009, this is the first official structured partnership between the two entities with the mutual aim to highlight the great value each will bring to the development of the business and industrial community in Jeddah.
“This official partnership will help us to develop commercial, economic and social activities in Jeddah and the Kingdom,” said Dr. Kevin Cullen, KAUST vice president for Innovation and Economic Development. “We look forward to working together on new economic opportunities, R&D, and the scaling up of scientific research to enhance the local business environment and creating mutual benefits with the private sector.”
The JCCI is seeking to establish fruitful strategic partnerships with academic authorities, such as KAUST, that will aid the business sector in developing Jeddah commercially, economically and socially. This goal is to support the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 in the development of business sectors, which aims to enhance the quality of their outputs and outcomes.
As a world-leading research institution, as well as one of the upcoming leaders in SME empowerment within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, KAUST is a key fit for this alliance. The two organizations look forward to achieving common aims while realizing the importance of adopting and implementing programs that will help to achieve the programs and objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.