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Saudi Arabia taps Siemens to and develop AI solutions for power sector


From ABRAHAM JONAH, Managing Editor, Middle East

RIYADH – Recent developments have witnessed the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) and Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy’s engage in partnership with Siemens Advanta, the company’s business unit for digital transformation consulting and implementation. The purpose of this is to develop AI solutions for the Kingdom’s power sector that have the potential to increase energy efficiency, reduce transmission losses and boost the integration of renewables.

This was made known in an agreement by Ahmed Al-Zahrani, Assistant Minister for Development and Excellence at the Ministry of Energy, Dr. Majid Altuwaijri, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Center for Artificial Intelligence (NCAI), and Ahmad Hawsawi, the CEO of Siemens in Saudi Arabia, recently.

Following this, Siemens and AICE are working closely to develop scalable AI solutions that will help produce lasting economic, social and environmental benefits and move Saudi Arabia closer toward its goal of becoming a world leader in AI.

“SDAIA aims to create a data-focused and AI-supported government and economy,” said NCAI CEO, Dr. Majid Altuwaijri. “Our mission is to unlock the value of data as a national asset to realise the aspirations of Vision 2030. In the energy sector and in collaboration with Ministry of Energy, we aim to expand the Kingdom’s preeminence in energy by becoming the global benchmark for AI driven innovation. This agreement with Siemens Advanta will help us identify areas where the Kingdom can develop and apply AI capabilities in one of the sector’s main pillars, the power sector and eventually pave the road toward the aspired preeminence.”

It is worthy to note that AICE was launched since January 2020 to drive the AI agenda in the energy sector and help achieve the economic diversification goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. SDAIA, which was created in 2019, is responsible for organising and leading Saudi Arabia’s data and AI agenda to help achieve Vision 2030’s goals. NCAI, part of SDAIA, is driving efforts to develop Saudi Arabia’s AI capabilities through innovation, research and education.

“This agreement is an essential step towards developing AI solutions for the power and renewables sector to achieve the ambitious goals of the Saudi Vision 2030,” Ahmed Al-Zahrani, Ministry of Energy’s Assistant Minister for Development and Excellence, said.

The project places strong emphasis on developing local intellectual property for advanced AI solutions, building local capabilities, and creating solutions that are scalable.

“We are proud that SDAIA has selected Siemens for this important project to support in the digital transformation of Saudi Arabia and achieve the strategic objective to be one of the most technologically advanced nations,” said Ahmad Hawsawi, the CEO of Siemens in Saudi Arabia. “We look forward to creating AI solutions together by leveraging Siemens industry knowledge and expertise, and to building national competencies in AICE’s areas of focus, starting with the power sector.”

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