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National Transformation Program 2020

“Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030” was adopted as a methodology and roadmap for economic and developmental action in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. “Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030” encompasses—in a number of domains—strategic objectives, targets, outcome-oriented indicators, and commitments that are to be achieved by the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The Council of Economic and Development Affairs has established an effective and integrated governance model to translate the Vision into various implementation programs that will accomplish its goals and directions. The programs will be launched successively, according to the requirements of Vision.

In order to build the institutional capacity and capabilities needed to achieve the ambitious goals of “Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030”, the National Transformation Program 2020 was launched across 24 government agencies including KACST. The program’s strategic objectives are linked to interim targets for the year 2020 and the first phase of initiative implementation will be launched in 2016 and will be followed every year by phases involving more public agencies.

NTP Objectives:

  • Identifying the strategic objectives and targets of participating entities.
  • Translating strategic objectives into Initiatives for the participating entities.
  • Promoting joint actions toward the achievement of common national goals.
  • Contribution to job creation.
  • Contribution to strengthening partnerships with the private sector.
  • Contribution to maximizing local content.
  • Contribution to digital transformation.

To achieve work sustainability and maximize impact, the program has employed a number of enablers that help increase the level of professionalism and ensure smoother workflow including transparency, institutionalization and specialized support.

KACST Strategic Objective

Key Performance Indicators

Relevant Vision 2030 Objectives

Enhance the infrastructure and facilities necessary for the development of local content

Number of establishments needed to develop local content

·           Create an attractive environment for both local and international investors and enhance their confidence in our economy

·           Enhance competitiveness of energy sector

Establish emerging technology companies with added value to contribute to the increase of local content

·           Number of jobs being generated by start-up companies in incubators

·           Number of jobs being generated by start-up companies in universities

·           Number of tech-companies emerging from incubators

·           Number of tech-companies emerging from universities through the Innovative Companies Program

·           Create an attractive environment for both local and international investors and enhance their confidence in our economy

·           Boost entrepreneurship

·           Develop IT sector

Strengthen the capability of small and medium-based companies to contribute to the increase of local content

Number of companies that were served or have their capabilities enhanced

Create an attractive environment for both local and international investors and enhance their confidence in our economy

Provide technical consulting services to government sectors

Number of consulting projects in the targeted sectors that have been submitted

Customer satisfaction for consulting services provided

Improve performance, productivity and flexibility of public authorities

Localization and development of technology in large domestic spending sectors

Number of localized and developed technologies in targeted sectors

Develop IT sector

Develop mining sector

Develop Oil & Gas sector

Enhance competitiveness of energy sector

Support research and development to ensure the sustainability of the local content development system

Number of published peer-reviewed research papers from scientific institution in the kingdom

Number of patents issued by the kingdom

Provide citizens with knowledge and skills to meet the future needs of the labor market

Boost entrepreneurship

Support local content through development of nationally-qualified professionals

Number of technical experts who have been skilled

Provide citizens with knowledge and skills to meet the future needs of the labor market

Develop youth skills and leverage them effectively

NTP Operating Model

The Council of Economic and Development Affairs and the 24 participating government entities worked hand in hand to prepare and launch the National Transformation Program. Other government agencies, such as the Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs, were invited to take part in planning the initiatives, coordinating efforts, and producing high-quality and realistic outcomes. The phases of the program’s operating models include:

  • Identifying the challenges in fulfilling the vision and establishing 2020 Interim targets
  • Developing initiatives designed to reach the strategic objectives.
  • Developing detailed implementation plans for the initiatives.
  • Promoting transparency in the publication of targets and outcomes.
  • Auditing, continually improving, launching new initiatives, and adding new participating entities.

NTP Launching

The first phase of the National Transformation Program was launched across 24 government agencies, including the ministries represented in the Council of Economic and Development Affairs and a number of public entities associated mainly with the strategic objectives of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. Other entities were also invited because the ministries deemed their presence important for achieving strategic objectives of the Vision.

 

KACST’s Strategic Objectives in the National Transformation Program 2020

  • Enhance the infrastructure and facilities necessary for the development of local content.
  • Establish emerging technology companies with added value to contribute to the increase of local content.
  • Strengthen the capability of small and medium-based companies to contribute to the increase of local content.
  • Provide technical consulting services to government sectors.
  • Localization and development of technology in large domestic spending sectors.
  • Support research and development to ensure the sustainability of the local content development system.
  • Support local content through development of nationally-qualified professionals

KACST KPIs in the NTP

During the NTP workshops, KACST conducted a comprehensive survey for all initiatives and linked them with accurate KPIs to easily and accurately evaluate the accomplishment level for each initiative. These KPIs are distributed according to KACST’s strategic objectives. They took care of evaluating development and research indicators, such as the number of published and reviewed scientific papers, registered patents, and technologies that were developed. They also looked at innovative indicators, such as the number of young technological companies and human resources performance indicators, such as the number of technological jobs generated from these companies, and many other indicators. KACST prepared 12 KPIs to evaluate the performance.

These are:

  • Number of published peer-reviewed research papers from scientific institution in the kingdom.
  • Number of patents issued by the kingdom.
  • Number of localized and developed technologies in targeted sectors.
  • Number of establishments needed to develop local content.
  • Number of technical experts who have been skilled.
  • Number of tech-companies emerging from incubators.
  • Number of jobs being generated by start-up companies in incubators.
  • Number of tech-companies emerging from universities through the Innovative Companies Program.
  • Number of jobs being generated by start-up companies in universities.
  • Number of companies that were served or have their capabilities enhanced.
  • Customer satisfaction for consulting services provided.

N

Key Performance Indicators

Measurement Unit

Targeted 2020

1

Number of published peer-reviewed research papers from scientific institution in the Kingdom

Research (annual)

20,000

2

Number of patents issued by the Kingdom

Patent (accumulative)

5,000

3

Number of localized and developed technologies in targeted sectors

Technology (accumulative)

125

4

Number of establishments needed to develop local content

Establishment (accumulative)

17

5

Number of technical experts who have been skilled

Expert (accumulative)

350

6

Number of tech-companies emerging from incubators

Company (accumulative)

600

7

Number of jobs being generated by start-up companies in incubators

Job (accumulative)

3,600

8

Number of tech-companies emerging from universities through the Innovative Companies Program

Company (accumulative)

800

9

Number of jobs being generated by start-up companies in universities

Job (accumulative)

4000

10

Number of companies that were served or have their capabilities enhanced

Company (accumulative)

400

11

Number of consulting projects in the targeted sectors that have been submitted

Project (accumulative)

200

12

Customer satisfaction for consulting services provided

Percentage (%)

80

 

 

 

KACST Initiatives in the National Transformation Program 2020

KACST proposed 30 initiatives within the National Transformation Program, to support its vision for the future of science, technology and innovation in the KSA. Each initiative belongs to one of three pillars: research support, technology transfer and localization and innovation.

 

Research Support Initiatives

R&D Support Program for Universities and Research Institutions

The Research Support Program funds the basic research or what is called also theoretical research. It is the methodological study oriented to expand knowledge horizons or understand the basic sides of the observed facts and phenomena, without determining certain applications, when beginning research. This research contributes to the establishment of knowledge and provides the scientific basis to be represented in the future in the development and applied research. The basic research program will be open to all researchers, but a mechanism will be adopted for the classification of research to regulate the presentation and analysis of results. The number of supported basic-research projects in this program will be decreased and high quality applied research will be increased.

 

Product Development Program to Establish Local Suppliers

The program aims to support joint projects between the research and private sectors to establish high quality small and medium sized enterprises that will develop products that contribute to maximizing the local content and the commercial and economic benefit from the technological potentials in the research sector. Up to 7 billion riyals was invested in R&D over the last seven years with promising outputs and commercial and economic opportunities. Moreover, the program seeks to benefit from these investments and outputs by newly established companies to develop high added value services and products.

 

Program to Stimulate Young people to Get Involved in the Areas of Science and Technology

This program launches a comprehensive group of initiatives to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics in public education, and develops and encourages research activities at universities. It increases communication about science and technology in the society.

 

Program of Industrial Innovation Centers

These centers aim to create partnerships between research institutions and the private sector in order to develop services and products that contribute to increasing the competitiveness of national companies, and the promotion of the local content. The program also aims to support the establishment of the appropriate atmosphere to develop the local content. It does this by: developing next generation technologies; supporting research cooperation efforts between universities and industry; transferring knowledge in the KSA; strengthening the university research; and improving science and engineering education in the KSA. It follows international best practices and brings them to the KSA.

 

Technology Transfer and Localization Initiatives

Localization and Transfer of Energy Technology

KACST undertook an integrated program to develop and produce solar energy technologies. The aim of this was to support industry in the Kingdom and to development new technologies that reduce oil and gas consumption, by encouraging entrepreneurship. Through these initiatives, KACST seeks to minimize solar energy production expenses based on the former successes in this field. Previously KACST managed to produce solar energy at 18 Halala per kilowatt/hour, and seeks to reduce this to 12 Halala during coming years. In addition, the program is determined to support the Saudi Electricity Company and Saudi Aramco in their endeavors to increase the localization of equipment and spares in the 5 next years. KACST is also involved in providing expertise in energy generation research and development to test the duty circles and components of gas turbines. Also, the program could contribute to well-establish exercises to manage solid waste in the KSA by building a utility to test how to transform solid waste into gas.

 

Rationalization of Energy Consumption Through Light Emitters in Buildings and Roads

This initiative aims to assist in decreasing electricity energy consumption through gradual conversion to low consumption light technology using light emitters made of Gallium nitrate in the KACST laboratories. These kind of materials pave the way to achieving the required objective, i.e. to produce a white light with high efficiency, five-fold consumption less than the normal illumination, and a life-cycle that exceeds 25 thousand operating hours. It also provides practical and effective solutions for efficiency decrease issues with the increase of the current. This initiative deals with the new regulations of the Saudi Energy Efficiency Center and the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization. The benefit will be gained from KACST’s accumulative experiences in this field and its partnership with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and University of California - Santa Barbara.

 

Localization and Transfer of Water Technology

Saline water desalination is a strategic alternative for drinking water supply for KSA. The Kingdom produces more than 18% of global production of desalted water, but the work on localizing water desalination technologies industries hasn’t been achieved over the last few decades. So, KACST undertook work on localizing a number of desalination technologies starting from the designation of stations and development of many research tracks for all kinds of desalination, working in cooperation with many international research centers. The initiative includes topics such as water desalination, waste water systems, water network and treatment. Specifically, the initiative will address the following technologies: micro-filtration for water treatment, development of RO for sea water treatment, and development of low pressure RO for tertiary treatment.

 

Reduce Water Leakage by Monitoring the Water Pipeline Networks

This initiative aims to use advanced technologies in communication and information technology to develop an integrated system to protect long water pipelines, and monitoring water quality through wireless sensing networks. These includes a group of sensors which assess acceleration and heat and take analytical photos by infrared sensors, in addition to automatically generating the operating energy for the sensors by transforming the movement energy from the work environment.

 

Localization and Transfer of Oil and Gas Technology

This program develops 6 sub-technologies:

  • Developing continuous surveillance technologies for carbon storage and subsurface changes in oil and gas fields;
  • Developing multi frequency radar systems for supporting oil and gas explorations;
  • Developing Nano gelatin particles to support petroleum production efficiency;
  • Developing seismology data registration appliances for sandy regions;
  • Developing advanced liquids flow patterns to increase liquids and raise efficiency in low pressure gas reservoirs.

 

High-Efficiency Clean Fuel Production

Based on the accomplished research in the previous years, this initiative aims to develop a model to produce catalysts to get clean fuel without sulfur and nitrogen, and to develop the production of the fuel additives that will improve its features, and help create an environment free from dangerous materials that can affect health. This fuel was successfully created with Saudi Aramco.

 

Localization and Transfer of Mining Technology and Advanced Materials

KACST seeks to transfer and localize advanced materials and mining technologies by establishing collaborations between the related sectors and companies in the Kingdom, in order to promote added value and reduce waste in the energy sector. KACST will also focus on supporting the future economic strategy of the KSA and transferring the advanced technologies into the industrial sector.

 

Localization and Transfer of Health Technology

This programs aims to reduce healthcare costs, by completing the mapping of the Saudi genome to cover 100 thousand citizens in the KSA. It also aims to develop an integrated interactive information system to limit common genetic disorders in the Saudi community, which have a high cost to health services. The program seeks to limit diabetes mellitus and treat it in the KSA, by developing the potential of using a continuous gauge of glucose for Saudi health providers, and determining the main factors for the best management of this disease.

The initiative is also looking to localize and develop technologies to manage communicable diseases by establishing an integrated system of policies, procedures, orders, factories and labs that aim to quickly explore these diseases and take the necessary procedures to contain them and produce medicine and vaccines.

 

High-Protection Memory to Store Information and Digital Signature for Secure Government Transactions Device

USB flash drive memories are mostly used in the government authorities, and most of them are vulnerable to viruses and interpenetration. Hence, the locally made device and which is consistent with the systems of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, aims to issue the Saudi digital certificates to preserve information secrecy through providing coding technology and digital signature for the government authorities that enables the user to maintain information secrecy and verify clients’ identity. It will also preserve data safety from default or change, allowing users to do business, operate, and send e-mails safely. The manufacture of this product is underway at KACST and a number of parts have been created and are being used in the experimental stage.

 

Regulatory Framework to Promote Open Source and Free Software

KACST is determined to formulate systems that support large and middle software manufacture quality, and contribute to reduced costs and localized technology. This includes expanding the free and open-source software, and increasing private sector efficiency to execute high quality software according to global standards. This requires the coordination of efforts to formulate laws and a regulatory framework.

 

A National Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System

Government entities and the private sector spend large amounts on managing their resources in similar ways. This initiative aims to establish a united open-source system with a low cost that can be designated and continuously developed. KACST has great capabilities in this field, and it is heading a committee to handle this subject along with many authorities, such as the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. This has led to many recommendations being formulated from this project.

 

Big Data for Strategic Planning Platform

Government entities including the Ministry of Economy and Planning and the General Authority for Statistics have a huge amount of data with different sources. This initiative seeks to establish an integrated technological stage that includes tools to prepare, store, analyze, and film the big data. This system enables the government authorities to have easy access to useful information to help them in strategic planning and decision making.

 

Low-Cost Communication Network for Internet of Things (IoT) Applications

Public and private sectors spend huge amounts on their business and on providing services at the right time. Government authorities, such as those regulating electricity, water, and gas, waste a lot of their resources. This initiative uses the IoT applications to cover Riyadh with LPWAN technology, as it can accommodate a huge amount of data consistent with energy saving sensors, which reduces pressure on communication networks with very low cost compared to the normal alternative.

 

Corrected Aerial and Panoramic Imaging

KACST has met many needs in aerial imaging on many occasions. There is a duplication and repetition in taking pictures which has resulted in unnecessary expenditure. Since KACST is the responsible for supplying all sectors with space photographs this initiative considers the addition of aerial picturing to KACST’s responsibilities. This will lead to a 50% reduction in costs overall and prevents duplication of efforts. It seeks to prepare infrastructure to be able to provide this services for sectors.

 

Artificial Satellite Communication System to Prompt Applications Electronically to Government Agencies

Antennas with mechanical direction are used between ground stations and satellite, such as VSTA, in most government authorities. The suggested product is based on a laptop-sized electronic device that can be directed to track satellites without mechanical antenna. It can also be modified to use on vehicles such as cars, ships, planes and drones due to its small size. KACST developed a lab model, and successful tests were made for communication across satellites. KACST aims to complete the development, locally manufacture the parts and create a production line to make 100 devices as a first step.

 

Localization and Transfer of Building and Construction Technology

Components for dwellings are made in specialized factories using automation and robots are used to transfer them to building locations. They are made at competitive cost and with local staff, which reduces foreign manpower. It also aims to improve sustainability standards in buildings by applying systems to save energy and adopt integrated efficiency with renewable energy in future and current buildings. This leads to the development of sustainable buildings. The aim is to establish a production line with localized technology.

 

Localization and Transfer of Transport and Logistics Technology

It seeks to localize and transfer technology to maximize local content in transportation and logistics services, by developing integrated transportation systems inside cities, especially large ones. It seeks to reduce accidents and jams and decrease fuel consumption, by establishing advanced, low cost computer systems and by participating in technological counsels to identify the specifications to support information technology that can control logistic services. It will also improve transportation storage and delivery technology to reach optimum delivery speed.

 

Smart System for Monitoring Greenhouse Gases in the Kingdom

If carbon emissions are not limited, the dryness and high temperatures in the region will make it an unbearable place to live. The KSA is aiming to reduce emissions before 2030 but it is hard to do so without having monitoring systems to work out the worst emissions areas. It seeks to establish a smart system to monitor gases that cause global warming in the KSA by using low cost connected units. Decision makers will see areas that need quick intervention and make regulations to curb those emissions.

 

Technical Leaders Program

To solve the current gap in the national human resources, KACST established the Technical Leaders Program to prepare leaders for technological development through the best international institutions. Through this program, KACST has prepared graduates who have a passion for technological development, for PhDs at top-tire universities. And, it has developed highly capable industry leaders such as CEOs in small and medium sized enterprises, to get them ready for occupying roles in product development and at high levels of technology management.

 

Enhance Equipment and Facilities Necessary for the Development of Local Content

It seeks to establish ten national labs to promote the local content and provide many other services for public and private sectors. These labs take part to increase the added value of the industrial sector through the conducted research. They serve many sectors, including: energy, water and others.

 

Innovation Initiatives

Technical Consulting Program

It seeks to benefit from the national competencies and the available technological capabilities at KACST through providing technological consultation services that are included within the KACST field of expertise, including: energy, water and others.

 

Workshops Program for Prototype Development

It aims to establish three initial models development centers in the major cities in the KSA to support manufacturers in developing new products and try them in a suitable environment in a way that supports small and medium sized enterprises.

 

Program to Raise the Manufacturing Capacity of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises

It seeks to provide a group of technological services such as technological consultations. It includes the complete technological promotion of the small and medium sized enterprises, in order to qualify them to contribute to the local content and develop products of quality in good quantity. It will provide definite support services for the small and medium sized enterprises, such as providing a major center, supporting industrial and technological qualifications, providing consultation services, and helping them to develop policies.

 

Business Incubators and Accelerators Program

It seeks to support the establishment of small and medium technological companies with large growth rate to contribute to the creation of jobs and diversify the national economy via the BADIR program belonging to KACST. Badir’s five accelerators and incubators provide high quality services for information technology, communication, biological technology and young projects of advanced manufacturing. They seek to accelerate the growth of young Saudi projects by providing thought and funding at the same time. Also, they aim to assist young technological projects to skip the difficult challenges during various growth stages, and help with the creation of job opportunities.