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On behalf of His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Al-Saud, the Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, H.E. the Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Khalid Al-Angari, has today inaugurated the activities of the second national symposium on Information Technology, which was held under the title " Economics and Investment Information: Challenges and Solutions" organized by the Faculty of Computer and Information, King Saud University which will last for three days.

At King Faisal Conferences Hall in Riyadh Intercontinental Hotel, the oratory ceremony was begun by readings from the Holy Quran. The Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the symposium, Dr. AbdulMalik Salman then delivered a speech in which he explained that the organization of the symposium College clearly shows that it has sensed the importance of this vital issue, and following the initiatives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince – may Allah Protect Them- to exploit the wealth of knowledge and information technology to support and promote the Saudi national economy.

Dr. Salman substantiated the interest of the Faculty of Computer and Information Sciences in particular, and King Saud University in general, the importance of the information economy through specifying the title (Digital Economy and ICT Industry) in its Nineteenth National Computer Conference which was organized by the Saudi Computer Society, as well as the other aspects in this seminar at a time when the College is celebrating 25 years of its establishment.

Dr. Salman pointed out that the main features of the symposium focus on five pillars. The first of which is major public lectures, which address issues of scientific research and global experiences and legislation on the economy and information investment. The second is discussion circles aimed at bringing together experienced professionals and academics to come out with visions and proposals for the future and exploring the optimal use of the economy of knowledge and information. The third pillar is the advanced training courses, which were held yesterday and today for the development of knowledge and skills in aspects of interest to information technology.

The fourth of these pillars, the Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the symposium pointed out, was that it is focused on the scientific papers to be presented by a group of academic specialists in the area of the subject of the symposium, while the fifth of these pillars will be the invited papers pointing out that the organizers of the symposium had invited many government and private agencies to enrich the seminar with their experiences in the area of economics and investment information.

Following that, His Excellency the Rector of King Saud University, Professor, Dr. Abdullah Al-Othman, delivered a speech in which he thanked on behalf of the employees of the University, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince for sponsoring the second national symposium on Information Technology, which comes in the framework of his unlimited support - may God protect him - for King Saud University in all its activities. His Excellency stressed that the symposium will address two major issues, these are the economy and information technology, economy in the world of today became a major engine of growth in all societies and a central element to push most of other sectors towards progress and prosperity. On the issue of information technology, His Excellency believes that it is a general problem of the Modern Age. The information Technology became a main branch of regeneration in all fields and in particular the field of social development as well as the major impact of these technologies in the dissemination of culture and civilization among the various human societies. According to His Excellency the Rector of King Saud University, the symposium came at a time when the world is experiencing dramatic changes in the economies of developing and developed countries and at regional and international levels and is witnessing tremendous scientific progress in information technology and its contemporary applications. His Excellency believes that the Ministry of Higher Education's sponsorship of a number of development initiatives including the twinning programs with prestigious international universities and programs of supporting creativity and excellence for faculty members and programs for development of the university's academic departments, as well as the establishment of excellence centers in the various universities, including King Saud University contributed effectively to the development experienced by Saudi Universities.

Dr. Al-Othman promised the inauguration of Research Excellence Center in information security at the Faculty of Computer Sciences, King Saud University among other five centers established and funded by the Ministry of Higher Education in the University at the cost of about 250 Million Saudi Riyals in order to enhance the status of the faculty's research and its relations with government and private sectors in particular the Ministry of Defense and Aviation, the Ministry of the Interior and the General Intelligence, the National Security Council, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the banking sector. This he said makes of King Saud University a productive University.

His Excellency the Vice chancellor of King Saud University at the conclusion of his speech, sent his thanks and appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Riyadh and His Royal Highness Prince Sattam bin Abdul Aziz, the Deputy Governor of Riyadh - God saves them all-for their support and to His Excellency the Minister of Higher Education Dr. Khalid Al-Angari for his continuous follow-up and valuable proposals which enabled the University to experience dynamic development that would lead it to universality by the will of Allah.

After that the audience saw the documentary and visual presentations of the Faculty of Computer and Information Sciences. Then, the Minister for Higher Education inaugurated the Center of Excellence in Information Security Research in the Faculty of Computer Sciences, and the establishment and the start of study in the first of the Faculty's specialized sections in software engineering in the Kingdom, and the start of study in the inter sectional doctoral program, which is the first specialized program for female students that awards doctorate degrees in the Kingdom, and the establishment of a laboratory for advanced research in the design of intelligent systems.

Then, His Excellency the Minister of Higher Education honored a group of pioneer current and former employees of the Faculty of Computer Science and information for their role in supporting the overall process, service and the development of the Saudi society and their sincere efforts in the dissemination of information technology, and their role in supporting the process of technical and electronic services in the Saudi society. These are: the Minister of State for Shura Council Affairs, former head of the Department of Computer Science, Dr. Saud Al-Mathami, His Excellency the President of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology and member of faculty of Computer Science and presently part –timer, Dr. Mohammed Al-Suwaiyel, and His Excellency, the Deputy Minister of Education for Girls Education, former member of the faculty of Computer Science, Dr. Khalid Al-Sabti, the Provost of the Open University Branch in the Kingdom, former Dean of the College of Computer Science Abdullah Al-Salamah, and King Saud University Deputy Vice chancellor for Studies and Quality and the former Dean of the Faculty of Computer, Dr. Hatim Abus Samh and CEO of Al Elm Information Security Company, and former member of the faculty in the Department of Computer Engineering, Dr. Khalid Al-Ghunaim and Undersecretary of the Ministry of Higher Education for Planning and former faculty member in the Department of Computer Science, Dr. Abdul Qadir Al Fantukh and CEO of Cisco Saudi Arabia and former member of the faculty in the Department of Computer Engineering Dr. Badr bin Hammoud Al-Badr.

After that the Minister of Higher Education and the Rector of King Saud University and Vice Rector for Knowledge Exchange and Technology Transfer, Prof. Ali Al-Ghamdi, has received memorial shields on this occasion from the Dean of the College of Computer and Information, Dr.Sami Al-Wakeel.

Then the first activities of the symposium began by a working paper presented by His Excellency the President of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Dr. Mohammed Al-Suwaiyel entitled "Scientific research and its role in the service of economic and investment information," in which he talked about several features such as scientific research and cognitive economy and information economy, scientific research and economic and social development and science and technology systems.

His Excellency made it clear that research is the basis while the applied is the source of new knowledge, addressing the definition of the cognitive economy.

Then Dr. Suwaiyel spoke about the global economy fundamental changes where technology plays a key role, especially information technology and communications, pointing out that the labor market is changing with the change in the global economy, particularly in the areas of information technology and communications, where new professions appear thereby increasing the training requirements and knowledge of the labor force, and cognitive labor wages increase with decline in wages of manual labor.

He explained that in 1950, scientists observed that economic growth is largely due to factors related to the development of technical knowledge and innovation. Knowledge is the basis of innovation of science and technology and an essential hauler for development, generation and dissemination of knowledge became important supportives of sustainable economic development.

His Excellency drew attention to the fact that the Kingdom, among the countries of the region, has been ranked the fourth in information technology, and the fifth in the spread of the Internet and computers pointing out that Saudi Arabia is among the first thirty countries around the world, according to the indicators for measuring progress in information technology, adding that the IT market is expected to continue to maintain its advanced position in the Arab world, due to the implementation of a number of large projects in the past few years.

His Excellency the President of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology said that a structure for King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology and the institutional structures of science and technology and innovation as well as the establishment and equipping of the National Center for technical development and study of the development of institutional structures, has been developed to manage the national system of science and technology and innovation and follow-up and development of the national plan for science and technology.

His Excellency concluded his paper by emphasizing that scientific research alone is not enough to support the economy information and the economic and social development in general, he called on considering the issue within the framework of a comprehensive view of science and innovation system and making the best benefit of the outcome of scientific research.

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