how publicprivate partnerships can unleash the power of innovation
Last Updated : GMT 09:03:51
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today
Last Updated : GMT 09:03:51
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today

How public-private partnerships can unleash the power of innovation

Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today

how publicprivate partnerships can unleash the power of innovation

Alan Chinoda

Saudi Arabia recently proposed a nationalization program that aims to create a million jobs for its nationals by 2030. In support of Saudi Vision 2030, the plan aims to strengthen local manufacturing capabilities, empower local industries and enhance the Kingdom’s economic development.

The need to develop sustainable employment opportunities for Saudi youth is well documented, as the country pursues its ambitious economic diversification targets. Beyond merely creating jobs, there is a need to establish a talent pipeline conducive to innovation.

The pipeline starts at school and ideally cultivates lifelong learners. However, if we are to seize the window of opportunity to equip youth with the skills needed to succeed in their formative years, we must provide them with a space to fulfil their potential as future innovators and entrepreneurs.

Educating and empowering the next generation is important to the government. Innovation in advanced technologies and support for entrepreneurship are central pillars of Vision 2030, and can power the wheels of production. An innovative population can also unleash a fresh wave of creativity. But in this pursuit, nationalization programs are not new, nor do they guarantee success.

Many countries around the world, including Saudi Arabia, have implemented initiatives to promote innovation among local talent. While there are lessons to be had in their successes and failures, effective programs have one thing in common: Collaboration between the public and private sectors.

Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Khalid Al-Falih confirmed the importance of public-private partnerships and privatization when he spoke at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos. With a target to increase the private sector’s contribution to approximately 65 percent of Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product (GDP), businesses will play a key role in achieving Vision 2030.

Two areas where we see Vision 2030 coming to fruition are in education and manufacturing. To this end, Lockheed Martin has partnered with top-ranked US institution Babson College, King Abdullah Economic City and the Saudi Arabian Economic Offset Program to form an elite education institution.

The new institution, the College for Business and Entrepreneurship, aligns with the vision of King Salman, supporting a knowledge-based economy that empowers its entrepreneurs to become job creators.

The college will be based on a unique methodology, fueled by expertise and founded on the same academic rigor that has seen Babson College ranked first among schools for entrepreneurship by the US News & World Report for 20 years. Lockheed Martin will provide funding over a 10-year period to build the campus and curriculum, and at full capacity the college will accommodate 1,400 students.

In addition to Babson College, Lockheed Martin has partnered with King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) to provide on-the-job training in advanced manufacturing. This month, 11 employees from the KACST traveled to Denver, Colorado, to attend a year-long job-training program at Lockheed Martin’s Space Systems Co. headquarters.

The program, which will help Saudi nationals develop the necessary skills to complete final manufacture and processing of a satellite in Saudi Arabia, aims to inspire a new generation of talented young professionals in the Kingdom.

These education and training programs are investments in the country’s most valuable asset, its people, which will form the foundation of local industries. With an eye to supporting local production capabilities, we signed an agreement with TAQNIA Aeronautics last year to explore helicopter co-production opportunities in the Kingdom. In the agreement, investment, technology and skills required to establish production opportunities are outlined.

As we continue to build on our 50-year relationship with Saudi Arabia, we aim to create more opportunities for youth to fulfil their potential as scientists and engineers that push the boundaries of modern industry, not only in defense, but in space exploration, aerospace and sustainability. As we strive to create a million innovators to fill these new opportunities, it is in public-private partnerships where the Kingdom will see the most significant returns.

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how publicprivate partnerships can unleash the power of innovation how publicprivate partnerships can unleash the power of innovation

 



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