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Introduction

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s economy is growing steadily, even during a period of global economic recession. Nevertheless, this growth has largely been based on oil and gas exports, a sector that has generated more than half of the Kingdom’s GDP.

To diversify its economy away from oil-based dependence to a knowledge-based economy, the Kingdom has been driving a significant number of initiatives and investments in different areas directed to broaden its market, provide its youth with the necessary education and develop new sector growth. An assessment of the overall innovation value chain shows that the capabilities in the initial stages of this value chain are becoming more mature, while further downstream, commercialization and venture development, are the areas that show relevant gaps. There is a need to fill the gap in R&D commercialization and, primarily, in the venture development area.

TAQNIA commercializes R&D outputs from Saudi Arabia’s research centers and universities. The Kingdom has been investing heavily in the initial stages of the innovation ecosystem or value chain. However, the development of new large companies or new technology intensive sectors was limited. TAQNIA provides a range of services to the Saudi Innovation Ecosystem on a for-profit, contractual basis. Today TAQNIA includes a number of subsidiaries that not only provide services to R&D directly but also have been established to transfer technology by creating joint ventures with global leaders within TAQNIA’s six main focus sectors.

Saudi Technology Development and Investment Company (TAQNIA)

TAQNIA was established in 2011 through a royal decree with a mandate to drive the accelerated diversification

Commercializing Technical Projects based on Supply

AN-132: The first joint Saudi Ukrainian Aircraft/Layla IPP & PV Assembly Line: First Independent Power Plant in KSA

Commercializing Technical Projects based on Demand

SADEC: Saudi Arabian Defense Electronics Company/IXP: Saudi Internet Exchange Point