This morning, His Excellency the UQU President, Prof. Abdullah bin Omar Bafail, received Dr. Hisham Al-Hadlaq, the General Supervisor of the Research and Development Office at the Ministry of Education, and his accompanying delegation in his office. The meeting aimed to assess the university's outputs in terms of the initiatives undertaken by the Office of Research and Development, as well as its achievements and potential. The avenues of possible cooperation between the ministry and the university were also discussed during the meeting, with a view to activating the initiative of supporting research and development at the university and contributing to achieving the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030.
His Excellency the President of Umm Al-Qura University, Prof. Abdullah bin Omar Bafail, stressed the university's keenness to boost the status of scientific research and develop its tools, and to support the domain of creativity and innovative knowledge. This would be accomplished by providing all the required scientific and practical capabilities within the university to achieve a qualitative leap, consistent with the initiatives adopted to achieve the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030.
Dr. Ehab bin Abdul-Raheem Malibari, General Supervisor of the Initiatives Management and Vision Realization Office, offered a comprehensive presentation to the delegation of the Ministry of Education on the UQU system for research, development, innovation, and entrepreneurship and the means of harnessing them for community service and sustainable development. He added that the Initiatives Management and Vision Realization Office aims to achieve the objective of self-sustainability and self-employment by integrating the university system with Saudi Vision 2030, and actively participating in the initiatives of other government agencies to contribute to their success.
During a meeting held at the King Faisal Hall between the delegation and the deans and vice deans of the institutes and university deanships, Dr. Al-Hadlaq first expressed his sincere thanks to Umm Al-Qura University for its keen interest in the research and development initiative that is underway to achieve Saudi Vision 2030, and for using its full potential for creativity, innovation, and scientific research.
The delegation of the Ministry of Education reviewed the features and objectives of the research and development office, which works to stimulate the educational sectors towards sustainable growth in the field of scientific research and continuous development in diverse creative and innovative areas. It also works to enable Saudi universities to cooperate with various internal and external sectors to produce high-impact outputs that are compatible with national priorities by obtaining funding and preparing policies and strategies, thus allowing Saudi universities to benefit from their research and innovation components.
His Excellency Dr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Ahdal, the Dean of the Deanship of Scientific Research, presented an introductory overview of the deanship and its main supportive programs to research production and also the existing initiatives that are in line with the strategic objectives of the university, which aim to motivate researchers and improve research efficiency by creating a supportive environment for outstanding researchers. He then highlighted the implementation of several special training programs designed to enhance the research skills of the academic staff members and postgraduate students, with more than 400 total training hours, distributed over 29 training programs.
Next, Dr. Muwaffaq Uraijah, the Dean of the Institute of Creativity and Entrepreneurship, spoke about the role played by the institute in completing the establishment of the innovative system at the university by supporting and espousing innovative ideas and promoting distinctive ideas until they reach the level of entrepreneurship. He indicated that the institute carries the banner of entrepreneurship and the transfer and resettlement of knowledge and technologies, along with continuous development in the fields of research, and registration of patents and intellectual property.
Dr. Faisal Allaf, the Chief Executive Officer of Wadi Makkah for Technology, affiliated to Umm Al-Qura University, said that the company pays great attention to investment in human capital, location, and knowledge economy. He also reviewed a number of agreements concluded with external and internal entities to support the content of innovative and entrepreneurship works. He finally noted the role made by the company to link start-up companies with investors, and to discover and enhance the skills of future entrepreneurs.
Dr. Essam Khan, the Vice Dean of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Institute for Hajj, Umrah, and Visit Research, gave an overview of the most important consultative projects carried out by the Institute for the two Holy Mosques, and the expansion of Al Jamarat Bridge. He also spoke about the implementation of shuttle transport projects and making use of the meat of all sacrificial animals. He added that the institute places great importance in the use of technology in the service of Allah's Guests, and the expansion of research and studies concerned with the transformation of cities into smart cities.
The Dean of Postgraduate Studies, Prof. Sa`id bin Abdul-Rahman Al-Harthi, also reviewed the stages of the development of postgraduate programs, starting with the stage of establishing the programs, and then reviewing and assessing them. He also explained how the deanship worked to bring these programs in line with Saudi Vision 2030.
Afterwards, Dr. Ali Sha`iri, the Dean of the Institute of Research and Consultation Studies, gave a presentation of the services offered by Umm Al-Qura Oasis for Counseling in the fields of humanities, education, administration, and finance, in addition to the fields of applied science, computers, engineering, Shari`ah, legal, and health-related consulting. He added that the institute has so far offered 437 courses and training programs for 13,000 trainees over 3,000 training hours.
Dr. Emad Flamban, the Vice Dean of Science and Technology Unit, concluded the meeting with a detailed presentation on the technical research programs and projects provided by the unit to contribute to the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030. He highlighted that the unit published 248 scientific papers in the ISI Scientific Journal, and 260 research papers in international conferences, in addition to the registration of more than 20 patents.
The delegation concluded their visit to the university with tours of Wadi Makkah Technology Company, the Manufacturing and Modeling Laboratory at the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Medical Genetics Research Laboratory, and the Research Laboratory at the Department of Microbiology in the College of Medicine.