Saudi Arabia’s KACST Launches New Technology Startup Fund

The King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology (KACST) has announced the setup of a new fund, a first of its kind in Saudi Arabia, to finance small and medium technological firms, according to a report by Arab News. KACST’s Badir Technology Incubator signed a cooperation agreement with The Investor for Securities Co., a boutique investment banking firm, to set up the fund. The agreement was signed by Prince Turki bin Saud, vice president for research institutes, and Abdullah Al-Fowzan, chairman of The Investor for Securities Co.. In a statement on the occasion, Muhammad Al-Suwaiyel, president of KACST, said the agreement would boost the Kingdom’s technological development. Prince Turki said the new fund would encourage young Saudi men and women to carry out a number of investment projects in the field of technology. The King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) is an independent scientific organization administratively reporting to the Prime Minister; which is both the Saudi Arabian national science agency and its national laboratories. The Badir incubation program is a KACST initiative that was launched in January 2008 to help innovators and entrepreneurs develop their research findings into technology businesses. Its mission is to stimulate economic growth, which in turn would help solve the Kingdom’s unemployment problem. BADIR-ICT, an ICT technology incubator, was the first incubator of the program to become operational, focusing on information and communication technologies.

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