Aramco and IBM aim to establish an Innovation Hub in Saudi Arabia

  • Joint collaboration in the Kingdom aims to address complex industry challenges including circular economy, material discovery, sustainability, supply chain and artificial intelligence using IBM technology and expertise.

Aramco and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced preliminary plans for a strategic collaboration to establish an Innovation Hub in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The collaboration aims to support high-tech driven economic growth in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia leveraging emerging technologies in hybrid cloud, AI, and quantum computing to address objectives including circular economy, materials science, supply chain, sustainability, security, and digitization.

Aramco Senior Vice President of Technical Services, Ahmad Al Sa’adi, said: “The strategic collaboration of Aramco’s leadership with IBM’s enhanced technologies, R&D, and deep expertise, aspires to achieve potential breakthroughs in the energy sector that will have industry-wide impact. Through this collaboration, we are seeking to leverage the next frontiers in computing to drive economic growth and enable decarbonization through digital technologies.”

Aramco is one of the world’s leading integrated energy and chemicals company, supporting the sustainable and diversified expansion of the Kingdom’s economy, and contributing towards a globally competitive and vibrant Saudi energy sector.

“Through this strategic collaboration with Aramco, we aim to reinforce our commitment to be part of the Kingdom’s future by aligning with its 2030 vision for a digital led economy,” said Saad Toma, General Manager, IBM Middle East and Africa. “This collaboration aims to help develop local skills and talent with the knowledge and expertise needed to build this vision for the future using IBM technologies and expertise.”

As part of the plans,  Aramco and IBM will collaborate to identify potential opportunities for the application of technologies to address sustainability challenges. The aim is to accelerate the exploration of climate mitigation and adaption solutions using hybrid cloud, AI, and other emerging technologies, to help improve carbon emission performance and prepare enterprises for the impact of climate change in alignment with the Kingdom’s sustainability vision.

IBM and Aramco also plan to collaborate to identify opportunities for the application of technology to address supply chain efficiency and resiliency challenges, such as providing greater visibility and transparency across the supply chain.

The planned Innovation Hub aims to bring together IBM Consulting and Technology experts to work alongside Aramco experts in identifying novel and potentially impactful uses of technology, showcasing viability through an agile iterative approach, and then scaling these innovations.  This center is one of the first in the region that will apply the IBM Garage methodology to co-create and co-develop digital solutions with Aramco and others in the region.

IBM has a long history of working with the energy industry, and has been present in Saudi Arabia since 1947, when the first computer was installed in Aramco.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed today is subject to the parties reaching final agreement.

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