Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed Al-Saud, the president of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), has called on the private sector to fund scientific research projects which will ultimately benefit the nation.
Speaking at a ceremony in Riyadh on Tuesday, he announced the winners of the Almarai Prize for Scientific innovation.
Prince Sultan ibn Mohammed S. Al-Kabir, Almarai’s chairman, and Abdul Aziz Mohammed Al-Suwailem, KACST vice president for scientific support, were also present.
The prince, who is also the chairman of the Supreme Council for the Almarai Awards, recalled that Almarai had been funding the scientific innovation project since 2001 and has spent more than SR20 million to encourage researchers in various projects.
“We want other organizations to follow suit so that KACST can find funds easily through cooperation by the private sector,” he said, and pointed out that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman is keen on supporting scientific research and technological development through science, technology and innovation which will pave the way to a knowledge-based economy.
He explained that implementation of research projects was carried out by KACST with the cooperation of both public and private sectors with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Labor and several others supporting research in the Kingdom.
He congratulated Almarai for being the leader in this project which has benefited several scientists to develop their vision and ideas.
Prince Sultan said the the project was meant to support and encourage researchers and inventors in the Kingdom under KACST’s supervision. He added that his organization was willing to help any useful project with the aim of building a knowledge based-society in the Kingdom.
He said that the awards ceremony for the winners will be held on April 1 in Arar in cooperation with the Northern Borders University. The ceremony will be held under the patronage of Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz bin Musaed Al-Saud, governor of the Northern Borders Region.
Al-Suwailem explained that the prizes were given in three categories amounting to SR750,000, SR500,000 and SR100,000 respectively.
The selected winners included Mohammed Manna from King Saud University, Nasser Mohammed Ajeeli from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), Hamoud Mohammed Al-Hajri, Mohamed A. Habila, Ahmed Mohamed El-Toni and Zaid Abdullah Al-Othman.