Under the patronage of HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince, Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister, His Excellency Engineer Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al Faleh Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, welcomed him on the second version of “Innovation to Impact” held in Boston by King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST). In his reception there was a number of Royal Highness, Excellences and VIP delegates, naming a few; His Highness Prince Dr. Turki bin Saud bin Mohamed Al Saud, President of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and the president of KAUST, Eng. Nadhmi Al Nasr. The signing took place between Research Product Development (RPDC) Company, a subsidiary of the Saudi Technology Development And Investment Company ( TAQNIA) owned by the Public Investment Fund signed an agreement with SaudiVax on establishing and operating the first research and industrial center in the Kingdom and Middle East for developing vaccines and medical bio products; the “Center” will be located at KAUST Innovation Center with the support of KACST. The Center will be provided with research and development capabilities which will enable forming the first line of defense against epidemic threats to the Kingdom. The Center will also include a training platform for qualifying national cadres in the industries field.
The Minster of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Eng. Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al Faleh expressed his pleasure over laying the first cornerstone in the localization of this important industry in the Kingdom. In conclusion, His Excellency the Minister expressed his sincere thanks to the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his trusted Crown Prince, Prince Muhammed bin Salman Al Saud for their unlimited support empowering the government to develop such type of ambitious projects which are within the framework of the Kingdom’s vision 2030 in generating quality jobs and diversifying the economy.
His Highness President of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) Prince Dr. Turki bin Saud bin Mohamed Al Saud affirmed the importance of this national project to the Kingdom. He also expressed KACST keenness that this center will be a platform of international standards available for all research, educational and industrial organizations inside and outside the Kingdom hoping that the major parts of the national scientific researches will be converted into industrial outputs of economic feasibility to act as a nucleus for creating a new generation of researchers actively participating in developing the country’s economy on knowledge based and life science.
Engineer Hamoud bin Abdullah Al Tuwajiri, President of the Industrial Clusters Program stated that this agreement will set up a scientific framework to enable the Kingdom in defining solutions for its domestic health commitments as well as region and Islamic World commitments including solutions for the Middle East respiratory syndrome (Corona), etc.
Engineer Nadhmi Al Nasr, President of KAUST, noted that this project is among ambitious technological projects undertaken in cooperation with King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) aiming to speeding up the localization of the Saudi technology and creation of technological jobs in the field of bio drugs and developed industrial applications within vision 2030 framework. Engineer Al Nasr referred that the industry of vaccines development is of high strategic importance to the Kingdom due to the fact the Kingdom receives annually millions of pilgrimages for Hajj and Umrah from all over the world which requires the development of the local capabilities for developing suitable vaccines and treatments.
It is worth mentioning that vaccines and serums industry is subject to stringent international manufacturing standards set by the World Health Organization which recommends the localization of such industry to become self-sufficient.
On another note, the vaccines market size in the Kingdom amounts to nearly $400 million annually vrs. $1 Bn annually for biologics with a growth rate exceeding 15%. Globally, the vaccine market size amounts to around $27 Bn vs. an approximate figure of $300 Bn for biologics.