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Sun 13 Oct 2013 02:00 PM

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US defence giant launches Saudi tech partnership

Lockheed Martin signs up King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology for research investment

US defence giant launches Saudi tech partnership
Lockheed Martin is one of the worlds leading security companies. (Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Global security and aerospace firm Lockheed Martin has launched a new strategic relationship with King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) in Saudi Arabia.  

The relationship, which builds on already existing links between the two organisations, commits Lockheed Martin and KACST to jointly allocate research investment funding for Saudi Universities, over a three year period.

Universities in the Gulf kingdom can apply for grants to support involvement in research projects which are linked to the future defence and national security of Saudi Arabia, the companies said in a statement.

An agreement to launch the new investment fund was signed by Dr Turki S. Al-Saud, Vice President for KACST Research Institutes and Dr John Evans, Vice President International Engineering and Technology in Riyadh.

"This development underlines Lockheed Martin’s commitment to helping the kingdom create a more diversified economy through the development of professional capabilities, relevant to current and future market needs," the statement said.

In addition to the new strategic partnership with KACST the company is already partnering with the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, Jeddah and Al Faisal University in Riyadh.

Separately, Lockheed Martin also has abusiness partnership with Saudi Arabian Airlines, to jointly pursue new business opportunities in the Kingdom.

“We are proud to partner with Saudi Arabia's technical community, and to work with them to build solutions critical to Saudi defence and security,” said Evans. “Through direct, hands-on involvement of Saudi engineers and technologists in research and engineering programs, benefits will be delivered to the Kingdom’s national security, science, engineering and technology sectors.”

From its headquarters in Riyadh, Lockheed Martin Saudi Arabia said it is working to develop business ventures, strategic initiatives and partnerships which complement the innovation and the energy of the Saudi people to achieve Vision 2020.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Lockheed Martin employs about 116,000 people worldwide and had net sales for 2012 of $47.2bn.

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