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Science, Technology & Innovation in Saudi Arabia

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Saudi startup wins global competition

LONDON: A Saudi startup has won the top prize in a global competition. Sadeem, the world’s first multi-patented flood and traffic information system, was named the Best Global Startup at GITEX Future Stars.

Born in the labs of King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal the company was set up by Mustapha Mousa, Esteban Canepa and Ahmad Dehwah.

Sadeem was picked from 1,000 startups to take the top prize of $100,000 for its wireless sensor network — billed as the world’s first solar-powered urban flood and traffic monitoring system.

The system monitors and forecasts traffic and floods in real-time in cities using a combination of sensor networks, mobile applications and visualization tools.
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Saudi Research Center discovers 41 genes identifying family genetic cancer

RIYADH - The King Faisal Specialist Hospital and the Research Center in Riyadh has recorded a new scientific achievement in the field of cancer research, the first of its kind in the region.

A genetic package containing 41 genes called Hereditary Onco-genesis Predisposition Evaluation (HOPE) can identify patients with family cancer or those who have a genetic predisposition to cancer, by examining a small sample of the patient's blood, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Dr. Khaulah Al-Kairaie said that the HOPE test was applied to 1,300 Saudi patients suffering from the most common cancer diseases, in the Kingdom (146 patients with thyroid cancer, 698 breast cancer, 117 women with ovarian cancer, 352 colorectal patients), adding that the results of this research were published in the Journal Human Genetics.
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Oiling the wheels on a road to success

With the benefit of a sustainable plan and the funds to back it, Saudi Arabia is aiming high.

Saudi Arabia's scientific development may be in its infancy, but the oil-rich Kingdom is making strides in terms of research investment and publication — with a clear ambition to one day join those in the highest echelons.

In 2012, Saudi Arabia had a weighted fractional count (WFC) of 52.84 in the index, sitting behind Turkey, Iran, Mexico, Chile and South Africa. In four years it rose 86.8% to reach a WFC of 98.67, leapfrogging all these countries to compete with Chile and Argentina globally. Saudi Arabia ranks at number 31 in the world in terms of WFC — up from 39 in 2012.

The country has risen even higher in specific subject areas. In chemistry, for example, it has surpassed countries with a strong scientific impact like Finland and Ireland, with its WFC rising to 66.54, achieving almost a three-fold increase from its position in 2012.

Institutionally, the country's leading science hub King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) made an impressive leap in its WFC between 2012 and 2015, carving a place for itself to compete with American and European research powerhouses.

In just four years, its WFC has risen to become higher than those of prestigious institutions including the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), the University of Georgia, United States, and Dresden University of Technology, Germany, to name a few. The output of all of these institutions dwarfed KAUST's in 2012, but KAUST's impressive trajectory since then has seen its WFC shoot to 72 in 2015, overtaking these heavy-hitters.

The country's science development ambitions have been backed by action. Since 2008, the country has embarked on a multi-tiered strategy that will see the Kingdom overhaul its science infrastructure, build high-spec labs, secure grants for research in priority areas in applied science, and link science to industries that drive the economy.

The strategy, broken into four stages to be implemented by 2030, aims to eventually “see Saudi Arabia become a leader in Asia and give it an economic power based on science,” says Abdulaziz Al-Swailem, vice president of scientific research support at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST)....
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Saudi academic receives global recognition for space research

Saudi Arabia's first indigenous made unmanned aerial vehicle

RIYADH: The general supervisor of the program management office for King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Dr. Khaled Al-Hussan, received a seat at the International Academy of Astronautics for his aerospace research.

Al-Hussan supervised Saudi satellites launched by KACST in 2006, 2008, 2012 and 2014.
He was also honored with an honorary award for his personal contributions to the development and production of the Antonov 132D joint venture between KACST and Antonov Company in 2017.

He was also selected for the Professor of the Year award from 1998 to 2003 by many engineering departments (civil, environmental, mechanical, space) for his strong academic skills.

More than 100 high-impact scientific papers were cited in the International Scientific Indexing. He registered 40 patents at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

His scientific publications contributed to the development of a number of products in aviation and industry. He worked on the development of the principles of flow separation reductions. He also used developed flow as an alternative to the use of aircraft control surfaces.

Saudi Arabian-Ukrainian jointly made Aircraft

In addition, Dr. Al-Hussan participated in the development of an engine via explosion technique, as well as different and unique aircraft vehicles that could be applied in the aviation industry in the near future.

He also led research teams in more than 50 projects at KACST, in addition to his contributions in various fields of science and technology recognized locally and internationally.

Among its members, the International Academy of Astronautics includes the first Arab astronaut, Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, and Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed, president of KACST.
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Saudi scientist Maram Ebadi has been awarded the Loreal UNESCO 2017 Middle East Award for her groundbreaking research.

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King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology manufactures two new satellites

JEDDAH: King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology has completed the manufacture of two satellites, the Saudi Sat 5a and Saudi Sat 5b, in a new step in the field of exploration, communication, and scientific research.

The satellites contain high-precision photoelectric imaging technology, which will enable the photographing of land targets quickly and precisely, X-band and S-band high speed communication systems, advanced systems to provide and distribute energy, a ground station that is able to control three satellites at the same time, and artificial smart technology to process and interpret images.

The satellites will be used to provide high-resolution images of the planet’s surface from low earth orbits, help with urban planning, monitor movements and changes on the earth’s surface, and provide government agencies with services, in particular high resolution images.
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Saudi Arabia’s latest satellite launches into orbit from French Guiana

  • The Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1 (SGS-1) was launched from French Guiana by Arianespace
  • The satellite will provide telecommunications capabilities and stronger internet connectivity

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia launched its 16th satellite into orbit on Tuesday in a successful mission celebrated in both Riyadh and at the launch site in South America.

The rocket carrying the Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1 (SGS-1) blasted into the skies above its launch pad in French Guiana on schedule at 9 p.m. GMT.

The satellite will provide telecommunications capabilities, stronger internet connectivity, TV and secure communications in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.

The launch was carried out by Arianespace using the Ariane 5 rocket, which also carried an Indian satellite into orbit.

The Saudi satellite was developed by a team from King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) in collaboration with Lockheed Martin. Along with the Saudi governent , it will also serve Hellas-Sat, a subsidiary of Arabsat - the satellite operator based in Riyadh.
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