Saudi Aramco and Advanced Electronics team up to boost kingdom's digital ecosystem

Partnership to encourage the wider adoption of new-age technologies to boost GDP and create jobs

Nabil Al Nuaim, Ahmad Al Sa’adi, Walid Abu Khalid and Ziad Al Musallam at the signing ceremony involving Saudi Aramco and Advanced Electronics Company. Photo: Aramco
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Saudi Aramco, the world's biggest oil producer, and Riyadh-based Advanced Electronics Company have signed a preliminary agreement to further develop the kingdom’s digital ecosystem and accelerate the localisation of digital businesses.

The partnership aims to spur the wider adoption of the Internet of Things, computing and communication, robotics, drones and semiconductors to complement the ongoing expansion of Saudi Arabia's digital ecosystem.

This, in turn, would maximise local content, contribute to the kingdom’s gross domestic product growth, create new jobs, accelerate digital talent development and enhance Aramco’s reliability and operational efficiency.

“This partnership aims to help us to develop technologies and local talent as we work with leading technology providers to add value to the company and wider economy,” Ahmad Al Sa’adi, Aramco's senior vice president for technical services, said in a statement on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia has taken various measures to accelerate the development of its digital expertise to diversify its economy away from oil.

The kingdom's technological advancements have complemented the reforms it had rolled out over the past few years, as it aims to become a dynamic business, tourism and cultural destination.

In September, Saudi Arabia announced that it will provide up to $4 million in loans to start-ups and small and medium enterprises in a bid to boost its digital economy and attract new investment in the sector.

Saudi Aramco, through its entrepreneurship arm Wa'ed, has become increasingly involved in supporting start-ups through investments, participating in funding rounds for tele-health platform Cura and FinTech firm Lamaa in the past few months.

This partnership aims to help us to develop technologies and local talent as we work with leading technology providers to add value to the company and wider economy
Ahmad Al Sa’adi, senior vice president for technical services at Saudi Aramco

Earlier this month, Wa'ed said it had awarded up to 7.65m Saudi riyals ($2.04m) in new seed grants and venture funds to four Saudi start-ups.

As part of the partnership with AEC, Aramco included the industrial digital business under the investment programme Aramco Namaat, which aims to complement the establishment of various digital hubs in the kingdom.

“The co-operation with Aramco is expected to contribute to the efficiency and value of the supply chains in the industrial digital businesses, especially at the engineering, manufacturing and services level, across many systems and products used in the ICT, security and energy sectors,” said Ziad Al Musallam, president and chief executive of AEC, which is a wholly-owned entity of Saudi Arabian Military Industries.

Updated: December 30, 2021, 3:14 PM