On Tuesday, 27 October 2020, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) and the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) signed a MoU to support Military Research and Development initiatives in the Defense Sector.
This MoU further aims to better align both research and graduates with the strategic needs of the Kingdom’s Defense Sector. In attendance were the Minister of Energy and KFUPM Chairman, HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, His Excellency Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al-Ohali, the Governor of the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI), His Excellency the Acting President of King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dr. Muhammad M. Al-Saggaf, and His Excellency the Deputy Governor of the General Authority for Military Industries, Engineer Qasim Abdulghani Al Maimani.
The agreement aims to establish frameworks of mutual understanding and cooperation to channel academic programs, University research, graduation projects, and University studies to the needs of the military industries sector. In addition, it encourages cooperation between KFUPM and Saudi military factories in the fields of research and development needed to empower the sector and develop industries, research, technologies, and national human resources. GAMI intends to provide incentives and facilities to support the universities and research centers and accelerate the development of national competencies, to contribute to creating national economic diversification by enhancing non-oil revenues and raising the sector's direct contribution to the GDP by 2030.
The deputy governor for the military industries sector, H.E. Engineer Qasim Abdulghani Al Maimani, indicated that the agreement serves to broaden the horizons of cooperation between the University and the Kingdom’s military factories and links the R&D efforts in the field of military industries. The agreement includes student exchange programs and scholarships, and it aims to benefit from the university's outputs through creating training program tracks in some specializations that meet the needs of the sector. It also provides summer and cooperative training opportunities for KFUPM students in the fields of military industries.
The Authority will grant scholarships to postgraduate students to complete their doctoral and master's degrees in fields related to military industries. In addition, it will establish career development centers to facilitate the utilization of the military program outputs in the military-industrial system.
From his side, H.E. the Acting President of KFUPM, Dr. Muhammad M. Al Saggaf, was pleased with the signing of the agreement. He stressed that the agreement reflects both sides' keenness to align the outputs of education and research with the needs of the military industry and to channel the University academic programs and research to serve the military research and development sector as one of the most important pillars of Vision 2030. The agreement represents the University's interest in developing distinguished relations with the sectors of society and participating with it in the production, renewal, and development of knowledge. KFUPM will put its educational and research credit to enhance cooperation with the Authority and will receive its positive influence on the development of the University and the Authority. Dr. Al-Saggaf expressed his confidence that the cooperation between the two sides will grow to broader and deeper horizons and will serve as an example for the partnership between the academic and industrial sectors.
It is noteworthy that this agreement is part of the Authority efforts to achieve the goals of the Saudi Vision of resettling more than 50% of military spending by 2030, which will enable it to achieve its national priorities of strengthening the Kingdom's strategic independence and raising its military and security readiness.