Highlights and images for 12 November 2016



IISD Reporting Services - GCC - Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

IISD Reporting Services is providing coverage of selected GCC Pavilion events at the at the Marrakech Climate Change Conference, including written, digital and video coverage.

The following event was covered on Saturday, 12 November 2016:

Photos by IISD/ENB | Liz Rubin and Mike Muzurakis
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GCC and European Institutes Collaboration on Economic DiversityPresented by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

This event was moderated by Bader Al-Harbi, National Center for Environmental Technology, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Saudi Arabia.

Mustafa Babiker, Saudi Aramco, presented on prospects of economic diversification in Gulf countries. He noted this diversification will include: developing green oil technologies; increasing market access and technology diffusion; and scaling up and commercializing of carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Ali Ali-Maashi, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), presented on SABIC’s initiatives in business collaboration to showcase what can be manufactured locally, and expounded on how to enable business growth through innovation. He explained that enabling a knowledge-based economy should include building and construction innovation hubs, as well as hubs for energy and water management. He drew attention to his company’s contributions to enabling downstream industry through its collaboration with 46 industry leaders.

Jon Price, University of Sheffield, presented on knowledge exchange and innovation in manufacturing in the automotive and aerospace sectors. He explained how European universities could collaborate with GCC countries in enhancing robotization, innovation and digitization in their economic diversification. Drawing attention to a case study in Sheffield of an Advanced Manufacturing Research Center (AMRC) with Boeing UK, he explained how some rural areas in the UK are transitioning from the manufacturing sector to a knowledge-based economy.

Tony Ryan, University of Sheffield, presented on deploying solutions for food security in GCC countries and in the Middle East and North Africa. Stressing the need to decouple fossil fuels from food production, he urged using special derivatives of oil like polyolefin rather than burning oil to produce food. He explained methods of using the sun to desalinate water in future desert farms in the region. He also stressed the importance of applications arising from the petrochemical industry in preventing food waste.

During discussions, participants addressed, inter alia: energy efficiency certification in existing buildings; quantification of savings in water and energy; impact of present low oil prices on the region’s petrochemical industry; and use of digitization and programming jobs to engage the high proportion of unemployed youth in the region.

Panel (L-R): Bader Al-Harbi, KACST; Mustafa Babiker, Saudi Aramco; Ali Ali-Maashi, Saudi Basic Corporation (SABIC); Jon Price, University Sheffield; and Tony Ryan, University of Sheffield

Graphically presenting diversification trends, such as oil’s decreasing contribution to gross growth domestic product (GDP) in Saudi Arabia in past years, Mustafa Babiker, Saudi Aramco, said his country could progressively diminish oil dependency on the state's budget revenues and export proceeds.

Bader Al-Harbi, KACST, moderated the event.

Referencing Home of Innovation facilities in Riyadh such as the Collaboration Center and Demonstration House, Ali Ali-Maashi, SABIC, Saudi Arabia, explained the best practices in the region in terms of structure, water, air and power efficiency.

(L-R): Jon Price, University of Sheffield, and Tony Ryan, University of Sheffield

Participants during the event

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