Kingdom also claims a spot among the “Top 10 Countries in Nanotechnology Patents” in 2017
RIYADH, April 16 (CIC) – Saudi Arabia has ranked 23rd among 92 countries in terms of patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in 2017. The vast majority of these patented inventions are scientific.
According to StatNano, which publishes at the beginning of each year a report on the status of nanoscience, technology and innovation in the previous year, Saudi Arabia was granted 664 patents last year, compared to 517 in 2016 and 409 in 2015. What’s more, the latest number is double that of all Arab countries combined during the same period.
This year, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) ranked seventh among the top 10 universities in the world in terms of the number of patents granted by the US Patent Office. “The university achieved 183 patents in 2017, surpassing Johns Hopkins University, Harvard College and California Institute of Technology,” said Dr Khaled bin Saleh Al Sultan, president of the Dhahran-based university. Since the establishment of the institution and until 2005, it had only five patents to its credit, which makes its latest achievement extraordinary, he said
“The university has been granted more than 800 patents so far, and this number is over 60% of the total number of patents registered by all Arab countries’ universities, which number about 300,” he added.
Dr Sultan linked the university’s success in innovation and research to the establishment of Dhahran Techno Valley Company, the world’s largest facility for oil and gas research. The complex is home to an innovation hub, an entrepreneurship institute and an advanced modelling centre.
The university had licenced and marketed many of its innovations, including the technology for fluid catalytic cracking of heavy-oil products and one to purify salt and heavily polluted water.
Together with the university, Saudi Aramco – which was granted 233 new patents in 2017 – secured more than two-thirds of the total number of patents last year. In 2016, Aramco was awarded 175 new patents and filed for 285 new patents.
“We are committed to tackling our industry’s toughest challenges through our focus on research and innovation on high-impact technologies that create significant competitive, cost and environmental advantages,” Aramco said in a statement. “Our R&D footprint spans three continents, and we have 11 international satellite centres and technology offices spread across the world.
“Energy and climate concerns are two of the world’s most pressing issues. We actively pursue research in technologies that will have significant benefits in the sustainability of hydrocarbon-based energy products and a cleaner climate.
“The technologies we develop will provide more reliable access to affordable energy, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, enhance fuel efficiency, conserve water and create next-generation materials that make consumer products lighter and stronger.”
The latest news about patents comes at a time when Saudi Arabia has put a sharp focus on digital transformation and improvement of opportunities in diverse fields – from technology and tourism to arts and entrepreneurship – with the aim to foster ingenuity and eventually turn the country into a knowledge economy.
Interestingly, Saudi Arabia has also claimed a spot among “Top Ten Countries in Nanotechnology Patents in 2017”, according to a StatNano report published last month – in yet another first for the country. The report says that “the reason is the growth of 128% in the number of nanotechnology published patent applications of this country in 2017.
The number of nanotechnology published patent applications in USPTO in 2017 shows a growth of 3.2% in comparison with 2016.”
The significant and consistent rise in the number of patents is just one indicator that Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision 2030 plan – a blueprint that expresses the Kingdom’s long-term goals and expectations and reflects its strengths and capabilities – has already started to bear fruit with the emergence of more opportunities and innovations in the country.