IDEX 2021: Saudi Arabia targeting higher R&D, industry investment to 2030

by Charles Forrester

Saudi Arabia is targeting a significant increase of its research and development (R&D) expenditure as procurement processes are being improved and streamlined, said Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al-Ohali, the governor of Saudi Arabia’s military procurement agency, the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI), at the International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) on 20 February.

“Currently, we spend about 0.2% of our armaments budget on research and development. Our plan is to achieve about 4%, which is the global average, by 2030. It [will] take a lot of collaboration with the UAE, with [the] US, with Europe, in order to reach this level,” he said.

As a result, the Saudi government will be investing in excess of USD10 billion in the defence industry in Saudi Arabia over the next decade, and an equal amount on R&D, he added.

Saudi Arabia is targeting significant investment in its defence industrial base and research and development through to 2030, GAMI governor Al-Ohali said on 20 February. (GAMI)

Saudi Arabia is targeting significant investment in its defence industrial base and research and development through to 2030, GAMI governor Al-Ohali said on 20 February. (GAMI)

However, according to Al-Ohali, at times, collaborations can come with challenges. “Sometimes, when you have a joint requirement for collaboration, different countries, they have different needs on weaponry, and that may create some inefficiencies or costs,” he said.

Collaborations with Emirati organisations including Tawazun and Edge are under way to establish technology partnerships and joint ventures, along with other international partners to help bring procurement, development, manufacturing, and support work into the kingdom.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/idex-2021-saudi-arabia-targeting-higher-rd-industry-investment-to-2030_15678

Saudi Arabia is targeting a significant increase of its research and development (R&D) expenditure a...

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