RIYADH, 15 March – Saudi Arabia has jumped 15 ranks in the Global Innovation Index for the year 2022, issued by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
This comes within less than a year after Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Salman, who is also chairman of the Supreme Committee for Research, Development and Innovation, announced the national aspirations and priorities for research, development and innovation (RDI).
According to Forbes magazine, it stated that Saudi Arabia is considered as one of fastest transforming countries in the world, and that results from its work in diversifying its economies by entering new sectors that have contributed in developing the national innovation system during the past decade.
This jump that the Kingdom achieved in the year 2022 in the Global Innovation Index proves the size of the development taking place in the fields of research, development and innovation.
During the previous days, Forbes had released a report mentioning the 10 Most Innovative Companies in Saudi Arabia, indicating that the total number of patents that Aramco obtained since its establishment in 1933 until 2010 is about 100 patents.
Aramco also obtained 864 patents from the US Patent and Trademark Office, all in 2021, taking it to the first place in the world in the oil and gas sector, in addition to entering the list of the top 50 companies and universities that obtained patents that year.
Aramco has strengthened its efforts with research and innovation in 2022, by raising the number of patents to 963.
As for digital infrastructure, Saudi Arabia ranked second among the G20 countries, according to the Digital Competitiveness Report for the year 2021, issued by the European Center for Digital Competitiveness.
The year 2017 witnessed the entry of only one Saudi company into the Forbes list of the most funded startups in the Middle East, then in 2020 the number of Saudi companies increased to two, while in 2023 the number increased to 5 Saudi companies among the top 10 in the list.
While focusing on innovation, Saudi Arabia has also focused on sustainability. It has announced its commitment to increasing the percentage of energy generation from renewable sources to reach 50% by 2030, and that in preparation for achieving zero neutrality by 2060.
In the same context, the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) entered the Guinness Book of Records, by achieving a new record, being the world’s lowest energy-consuming desalination plant, at a rate of 2.27 kilowatt/hour per cubic meter of desalinated water.
It is worth mentioning that the Saudi Research, Development and Innovation Authority (RDIA) showed keenness in cooperation with Forbes, through the report, to review the 10 most innovative companies in the Kingdom in each of the 4 sectors of national priorities in the Kingdom, with a total of 40 companies.
The list included each of Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco), Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), NEOM, Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden), Almarai, Al Rajhi Bank, Dr. Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services Group Company (HMG), ACWA Power, Saudi National Bank (SNB).
Crown Prince Mohammed announced on July of 2022, the national aspirations and priorities for research, development and innovation in Saudi Arabia for the upcoming 2 years, which rely on to 4 main priorities, represented in: human health, environmental sustainability and the basic needs, leadership in energy and industry, in addition to future economies, which will strengthen the Kingdom’s competitiveness and leadership globally.
Saudi Arabia’s national aspirations and priorities in the field of innovation aim to help it become one of the pioneers of innovation in the world, as the annual spending on the sector will be at 2.5% of the total GDP in 2040, in order that the sector to contribute in developing and diversifying the national economy through adding SR60 bullion to the GDP, in addition to creating thousands of qualitative jobs. — Saudi Gazette