The innovative research support program aims at improving the economic diversity in the Kingdom by developing research outputs that focus on achieving strategic goals for specific fields of interest. Partnerships with Universities and industrial entities ensure the execution of the research ideas to fruition, this results in developing local industries and services that are able to compete globally. The program focuses on specific areas of study throughout the projects life-cycle and long-term goals in the fields of health care, water security, sustainable energy, military defense, advanced materials, communication and information technology. This program requires the complete participation of the partner Universities and research organizations, as well as with small and medium-sized businesses to complete the product development stage of the research outputs. The city assists in funding the initial stages of the program for research and development activities for the Universities and research organizations working with small start-up companies and medium-sized businesses after careful review of the feasibility studies adopted by the Industrial Development Fund.
The program was designed and introduced as the Saudi Innovative Research Program (SIR) with the cooperation and coordination from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, as well as the Ministry of Labor in preparation for submission and approval. The program consists of three stages: (1) feasibility of research, (2) innovative product development, (3) manufacturing and production. The first-round of funding is meant to provide financial and technical support to purchase scientific machines, experimental equipment and tools, as well as the hiring of highly qualified scientists, engineers and researchers to work together as a team.