RDIF, MIPT and the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence of Saudi Arabia agree to jointly develop AI projects

Press release, 14.10.2019

Riyadh, October 14, 2019 - The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and the National Centre for Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AIBD) at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KASCT) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have agreed to develop artificial intelligence (AI) technologies jointly.

The announcement was made today on the sidelines of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Riyadh.

This is the first agreement between RDIF and a foreign partner for joint development of AI technologies. It is aimed at finding attractive investment opportunities and projects in one of the most advanced high-tech sectors.

RDIF will invest in Russian companies that create IT infrastructure and develop the AI sector, including supporting advances in cloud technology, data storage and processing centers. A key aim of the agreement is to attract the investments and expertise of international partners as well as to bring Russian AI companies to the global market.

RDIF is a Russian competency centre aimed at attracting international partners’ investment and expertise to implement wide-scale projects in Artificial Intelligence. The fund also acts as a platform for establishing partnerships between Russian and international companies.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said:
“Russia sees the development of artificial intelligence as one of the key areas of its technological development strategy. We are pleased that Saudi Arabian partners share our interest in this area. Together with the National Centre for Big Data and the Artificial Intelligence at KACST and colleagues from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology we expect to find new opportunities to support the development of AI in our countries, strengthening mutual technological exchange and the competitiveness of the economies of the Russian Federation and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

Ammar Alenzi, Director of the National Center for Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AIBD), said:
“We, in AIBD at KACST, are scientists and researchers who are committed to playing a leading role in AI research and expand partnerships toward sustainable development. AIBD, RDIF and MIPT have a mutual understanding of shared priorities and objectives, and this is an opportunity to push the frontier of fundamental knowledge even further jointly and to pave the way to new technologies. With research centers of high priority in advancing technology and knowledge creation, we are glad that we are collaboratively working on various domains of AI and sharing resources and expertise as the AIBD has a long track record of deploying innovative technologies, and such collaboration will create a more significant momentum by tapping into new fields that will benefit both parties”.

Loran Akopyan, Executive Director MIPT Center of Optoelectronics, Medical Equipment and Artificial Intelligence (R&D partner Shvabe), said:
“We believe joint-R&D partnerships across industries and the academia are key to successful project financing and new product development in the Era of AI and Digital Transformation. It is a privilege to be in discussions with the National Center for Artificial Intelligence and Big Data of Saudi Arabia and RDIF. Together we share common R&D interests in Smart City/Smart Home, Conversational AI/NLP, AI in Healthcare, Computer Vision and many other fields.”

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Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is Russia's sovereign wealth fund established in 2011 to make equity co-investments, primarily in Russia, alongside reputable international financial and strategic investors. RDIF acts as a catalyst for direct investment in the Russian economy. RDIF’s management company is based in Moscow. Currently, RDIF has experience of the successful joint implementation of more than 70 projects with foreign partners totaling more than RUB1.5 tn and covering 95% of the regions of the Russian Federation. RDIF’s portfolio of companies employs more than 800,000 people and generates revenues which equate to over 6% of Russia’s GDP. RDIF has established joint strategic partnerships with leading international co-investors from more than 15 countries that total more than $40 bn. Further information can be found at www.rdif.ru

King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) is a scientific government institution that supports and enhances scientific applied research with global reach. It coordinates the activities of government institutions and scientific research centers in accordance with the requirements of the development of the Kingdom. It is involved in several research and development projects related to competitive AI applications focusing on various domains.

Moscow State Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) is one of the leading Russian universities in the areas of physics and technology. MIPT was established on September 17, 1951 on the basis of the Department of Physics and Technology at the Lomonosov Moscow State University. The university holds a reputable position in the country and abroad. Its first founding professors were Nobel Prize winners Pyotr Kapitsa, Nikolay Semenov and Lev Landau. Many MIPT professors are leading Russian scientists, including over 80 members of the Russian Academy of Sciences. From the beginning, MIPT has used a unique system for training specialists, known as the Phystech System, which combines fundamental science, engineering disciplines and student research. During its more than 60 years of rich history MIPT has made significant contributions into wide spectrum of scientific disciplines, including fundamental physics research, information technologies and mathematics, quantum and electronic technologies, aerospace, nanophotonics and plasmonics, biotech and useful minerals. Further information can be found at https://mipt.ru/english/.

For additional information contact:
Arseniy Palagin
Russian Direct Investment Fund
Press Secretary
Tel: +7 495 644 34 14, ext. 2395
Mobile: +7 916 110 31 41
E-mail: arseniy.palagin@rdif.ru

Andrew Leach / Maria Shiryaevskaya
Hudson Sandler
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7796 4133