Intel to set up its first state-of-the-art technology lab in Saudi Arabia
Intel Corporation has announced it will open an innovative research facility in Saudi Arabia. As part of its Digital Transformation Initiative for the Middle East, the company will inaugurate the Intel Energy Competency Laboratory at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Dhahran in May this year.
The development was announced by Dr. Khaled S. Al-Sultan, Rector of KFUPM, and Richard Wirt, Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s Software and Solutions Group.
Located in the university’s research centre, the lab will use the latest Intel software and hardware. It will offer significant computer power for students and academic staff alike to run projects, research and development.
More importantly, the new facility will provide KFUPM early access to pre-production Intel technologies – and access to Intel technology as it is being developed.
The Intel Energy Competency Laboratory will also host training on Intel’s software tools, libraries, and optimization techniques. This will allow KFUPM students and the industry to gain valuable hands-on experience and serve as a platform for companies looking to optimize and test solutions using Intel technologies.
Dr. Khaled S. Al-Sultan, Rector of KFUPM, said: “The Intel laboratory will be an excellent addition to the university’s research infrastructure and a special opportunity for Saudi industry that will allow the Kingdom’s most gifted students to work at the forefront of technology development. The Intel Energy Competency Lab will be an excellent tool to develop local competencies, and ultimately valuable technological solutions for the needs of local and regional industry.”
Intel’s Richard Wirt said: “The Intel Energy Competency Laboratory is a prestigious project and we hope its success will be replicated across the region. KFUPM is an ideal environment to further Intel’s technology leadership. In addition, the university’s academic reputation and relationships with local industry will be enhanced by out joint research and development partnership.”
Intel has an ongoing commitment to local research and innovation as part of its stated business mission as an enabler of digital change. The company opened the Energy Competency Center with IBM in Abu Dhabi in 2002. The center provides an environment for companies to develop, showcase and test solutions using the Intel® Architecture platform.
Intel’s Finance Competency Center, opened in Beirut in 2003, provides a state-of-the-art technology venue where students, software developers, and engineers can do research, development, training, and application optimization specifically tailored to the needs of financial services institutions. Through joint programs organized by Intel, the American University of Beirut, HP, Microsoft and other IT companies, the center conducts training for students and is a networking venue for the academic community and industry.
In October 2005, Intel announced its Digital Transformation Initiative for the Middle East, which encompasses programs tailored to improve digital accessibility, education, entrepreneurship, and specialized competencies.
On a visit to Saudi Arabia last November, Intel Chairman Craig Barrett announced a US$50 million Intel capital fund to invest in technology ventures aimed at developing innovative hardware, software and services in Intel’s Middle East and Turkey markets. As part of the initiative, Intel will offer internships at its top facilities around the world for KFUPM’s most promising science and engineering students.
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