Thursday, 6 September 2012

Saudi Arabia: King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology

I first mentioned King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology ("KACST") in my overview of Saudi intellectual property law on 22 May 2011, KACST has two functions.  It is the Saudi Arabian national science policy making body whose responsibilities include granting patents for new inventions. It is also the kingdom's national laboratories. It is an enormous complex to the North of Riyadh employing 2,500 persons next door to King Saud University. It also has a branch in Jeddah.

KACST carries out its functions through a number of institutes, centres, directorates and units.  One of those directorates is the General Directorate for Industrial Property which serves as the kingdom's patent and plant varieties office and industrial designs registry, There is also a Legal Directorate which prepares and enforces legislation specifically for KACST.

The City has identified a number of strategic technologies and particulars of its plans for research in those technologies can be downloaded here. The application of this research to Saudi industry is undertaken through a number of technology incubators and innovation centres. KACST is a major publisher in Arabic and English including scientific journals on water, oil and gas, petrochemicals, nanotechnology and biotechnology. A summary of the City's services can be found here.

KACST's vision is "to be a world-class science and technology organization that fosters innovation and promotes knowledge-based society in the Kingdom."

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