US-based Emerson, a global technology and engineering company, today (January 17) inaugurated its new technology and innovation centre, worth SR94 million ($25 million), at Dhahran Techno Valley, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
The inauguration ceremony was held under the patronage of Prince Saud bin Nayef bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Governor of the Eastern Province, and Suliman Abdulrhman Al-Thunayan, Governor of Al Khobar.
The ceremony was held with the participation of Amin Nasser, CEO of Saudi Aramco; Dr Sahel N Abduljauwad, vice rector for graduate studies and scientific research, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM); David Farr, Emerson’s chairman and CEO; and Mike Train, executive president of Emerson Automation Solutions.
The 11,370-sq-m built area facility, enables the company to host Saudi students, entrepreneurs, researchers and industry stakeholders to collaborate with Emerson’s technical experts to develop process automation technologies and design innovative products and solutions that meet the country’s goals as well as ensure global access to Emerson’s research and development (R&D) expertise, said a statement.
The facility houses a collaboration centre, educational classrooms, an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) laboratory for R&D, and concept test laboratories, it said.
The technology and collaboration focus of Emerson’s new facility aligns with Saudi Arabia’s National Transformation Plan and the Saudi Vision 2030 development agenda which looks at technology as a key enabler to boost job creation and economic activities in the non-oil sector, it added.
The project is also in alignment with the in-kingdom total value add (IKTVA) programme, the initiative created by Saudi Aramco to baseline, measure, and support increased levels of localisation in the kingdom.
During the inauguration of the facility, Emerson signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Saudi Aramco, in the presence of Nasser of Saudi Aramco and Farr of Emerson, said a statement.
Farr said: “The opening of this facility marks the beginning of a new era for our operations in Saudi Arabia. This project is part of Emerson’s long-term commitment to Saudi Arabia’s growth and to make our technology expertise easily accessible for stakeholders.”
“The state-of-the-art systems in this facility will facilitate our education and collaborative research activities with our partners and customers,” he said.
“We also look forward to helping develop the knowledge and skills of industry stakeholders, university students, and entrepreneurs, as well as providing opportunities for local small to medium-size enterprises to participate in our supply chain for our innovative products and solutions,” he added.
Emerson has made a significant additional investment to equip the collaboration centre with modern technology-enabled capabilities including five research pods (for individual and team initiatives) fully equipped with a distributed control system and simulation panels, a collaboration and brainstorming space for creativity and idea sharing, a solutions theatre for exploring a wide range of solutions in the process automation field with full 3D capabilities, and an advanced teleconferencing room for connecting to Emerson’s network of centres, experts and consultants or any external site.
Dr Abduljauwad added: “We welcome the opening of Emerson’s centre as a strategic initiative which underscores Dhahran Techno Valley’s role as an ideal location to advance the kingdom’s digital transformation goals in its quest to fulfill its mandate towards vision 2030.”
“This is a new milestone in Dhahran Techno Valley’s efforts to advance Saudi Arabia’s objective of building a knowledge-based economy and promoting growth in the non-oil sector. We are positive that Emerson’s facility will attract huge interest for collaboration from universities and research institutions in the country and the region,” he added.
Emerson is one of the leading technology providers in the Middle East and Africa, helping businesses achieve Top Quartile performance in capital projects and ongoing operations in the chemical, oil and gas, refining, pulp and paper, power, water and wastewater treatment, mining and metals, food and beverage, life sciences and other industries. – TradeArabia News Service