(MENAFN - Arab News) The King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and the Ministry of Economy and Planning have chalked out a national strategy to develop advanced materials technologies in the Kingdom, Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammad Al-Saud, vice president of King Abdulaziz City For Science and Technology (KACST) for Research, said in Riyadh yesterday.
Prince Turki was inaugurating the Saudi International Advanced Materials Technologies Conference 2012 at the KACST headquarters in Riyadh.
The KACST National Program for Advanced Materials and Building Systems aims to contribute to the development of the Kingdom's economy by providing an integrated and supportive environment to develop advanced materials and building systems research and development, supporting related companies, generating new jobs, and developing advanced technologies.
This, it is hoped, will promote Saudi Arabia's competitiveness on its path toward developing a knowledge-based economy and achieving sustainable development, he said.
Over recent years, the Kingdom, the prince said, had become home to a number of high-tech structures, which had been created using the latest technologies in sustainable, fast track and disaster resistant building. This has been possible in part to the development and use of advanced techniques and advanced materials, which have created new options for building and construction.
"Saudi Arabia needs to maintain its momentum, with the help of KACST, in developing advanced materials technologies and building systems to support its future growth, competitiveness and performance on the world stage."
Prince Turki pointed out that the Kingdom has a competitive edge globally in the field of construction. "The construction sector represents 15 percent of the GDP of the Kingdom." According to the prince, the construction industry could provide a large number of job opportunities for Saudi youths.
Abdulaziz Al-Tamimi said the aim of the conference was to gather leading experts, researchers and stakeholders from all corners of the globe to discuss the latest advanced materials for the building and construction sector. The purpose, he said, was to contribute to the Kingdom's growing economy by providing a supportive environment to share ideas on the latest advanced materials and building systems research and development.
Speakers from Malaysia, Germany and Italy participated in the conference.
In his presentation, Yousef Al-Salloum said the urban growth of the Kingdom had developed at a normal rate until the first economic boom in the early 1970s, after which it increased enormously and continues to do so.