Saudi’s push towards an innovation economy


Smart Societies

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By Mohamed Imam Salem, King Saud University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is pushing to diversify its economy beyond natural resource. Transitioning towards a knowledge-based economy is its optimal development strategy. In pursuing this strategy, the Kingdom is focusing on science and technology. As the technological requirements of the global economy grow, there is increasing pressure on the educational system to produce graduates who have the skills to be productive in that economy. In its Ninth Five-Year Development Plan (2010- 2014), the Kingdom has stated it seeks to end the dependency on oil for economic growth.

The Eighth Development Plan focused on fundamental developments that laid the basis for heading toward a knowledge-based economy. These included starting implementation of the first five-year plan of the National Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy; adopting the National ICT Plan, the National Industrial Strategy, and the Strategy and Plan…

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