Industrial and Academic Partnerships
Boeing actively supports the Saudi industrial sectors. Boeing's objectives are to:
- Support Saudi plans to develop technological capability
- Create jobs
- Promote “saudization” (a program to increase employment of Saudi youth)
- Create and capture new markets
Additional support to communities is provided by investing in mathematics, science and literacy programs to prepare students to meet future challenges and enable them to realize their dreams.
In 2001, the King Faisal Foundation, together with a team of entrepreneurs, Saudi businesses and multinational corporations, embarked on an ambitious program to establish the first private university in the kingdom. Alfaisal University now helps students acquire the necessary knowledge to lead in the creation, application and management of technology. Boeing joined this effort as a co-founding member of the university, which began giving lectures in 2008. The self-governing, internationally recognized institution teaches and conducts research in engineering, science, business and medicine. It will eventually enroll 4,000 male and female students in these disciplines.
In 2009, Boeing became a member of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) industrial collaboration program, which aims to facilitate local and international industrial collaboration. As part of the program, Boeing partners with academics and students at the university on research and development initiatives, such as the Boeing Fellowship Program for Saudi Arabia, in which Boeing hosted a number of Saudi students from Alfaisal University in October 2009.
In July 2012, the Saudi Emerging Leaders program was the first of its kind held at the Boeing Leadership Center. Boeing sponsored 15 Master of Business Administration students for a one-week leadership development program, providing them with insights on how to effectively operate in a shifting global economy.
Also in 2014, Boeing Research & Technology opened an office at KAUST to enable Boeing’s increased interaction with professors and resident companies interested in joint collaboration and research and development. KAUST is a strategic partner to Boeing, and the partnership is a key tool for research within the kingdom and a step in partnering with other Saudi organizations to develop research and technology infrastructure and capabilities.
In September 2014, Boeing and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology launched the Decision Support Center in Riyadh. The center serves as a key tool for collaboration and experimentation between customers and partners in the kingdom, giving users the ability to make more informed modernization and interoperability decisions for aerospace and defense products. The facility uses local Saudi capabilities and is staffed primarily by Saudi nationals.
In November 2014, top university students from schools across the kingdom were invited to join Boeing for the Innovation Summit in Abu Dhabi and attend workshops led by select regional and international speakers. The summit showcased forward-looking thinkers in areas that included next-generation aerospace engineering and design, sustainable and diverse energy economies, and big data and mobile technology, focusing on cross-sector innovation.
Also in November 2014, Boeing launched the KSA College Graduate Program, which creates opportunities for recent Saudi engineering graduates of U.S. schools who are interested in acquiring meaningful, on-the-job experience before returning to the kingdom. The program provides 30 engineering graduates (10 per year for three years) an opportunity to acquire on-the-job training experience with Boeing Military Aircraft and Boeing Global Services, initially focusing on engineering supporting the KSA F-15 program. Participants occupy positions in manufacturing, tooling, and industrial and electrical engineering and take part in a three-tiered mentorship program with U.S. engineers, eventually transitioning to Boeing Saudi Arabia.
In 2015, Boeing signed an agreement with Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAEI) and AAI to create the Saudi Rotorcraft Support Company (SRSC) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The joint venture opened in April 2017 with facilities in Riyadh and Jeddah. Through in-country cooperation, the partner companies focus on expanding the Saudi workforce through creation of self-sustaining jobs, technical and aerospace skills development for local workers, and further involvement of the Saudi aerospace supply base. The joint venture supports the kingdom’s commercial and defense rotorcraft platforms, including the AH-64 Apache, H-47 Chinook and AH-6i through the following services:
- Comprehensive, in-country maintenance and maintenance support
- Depot overhaul and repair
- Program and supply chain management
- Saudi pilot and maintenance team training
In January 2016, Boeing announced that a second group of students joined its Saudi graduate-recruitment program, further supporting Boeing’s continuing investment in Saudi youth. The Boeing initiative provides recent Saudi college graduates with the opportunity to develop their skills in a variety of professional fields, including manufacturing, engineering, and training and support services at Boeing Military Aircraft.
In February 2016, Boeing sponsored a group of Alfaisal University senior management staff members who benefited from the Leadership Development Program at the Boeing Leadership Center in St. Louis, Missouri. And in August 2016, in a joint initiative by Boeing and Saudi Aramco, a focused workshop was organized with the goal of supporting the kingdom’s aviation sector. Economic Cities Authority supported the initiative, held in partnership with the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation and Emaar, The Economic City. King Abdullah Economic City hosted the workshop, which is part of the continued commitment to support Saudi Arabia’s vision to localize industry and develop the skills of Saudi youth. The participants explored several topics that related to discovering the kingdom’s training needs in the aviation sector and air transportation industry.
In September 2016, Boeing and KAUST renewed their Master Research Agreement (MRA) during a ceremony at the university’s campus. Renewing the MRA allows both organizations to continue their collaboration on research into the next generation of technologies vital to the growth and innovation of aerospace.
In December 2016, as part of Boeing's commitment to knowledge transfer, Boeing Saudi Arabia sponsored its eighth technical conference and exhibition. The event aims to showcase pioneering modern developments and international programs that improve vocational and technical training. The conference gives participants the opportunity to discuss training development strategies in light of economic and social changes that have occurred in the work market.
Further examples of Boeing’s commitment to the kingdom include the following:
- Boeing presented lectures and supported Princess Nourah University students with two initiatives: Smart Shoes and Noise Hearing Loss Assessment.
- Boeing presented lectures at Alfaisal University on business ethics and the fundamentals of aerodynamics for flight vehicles. Also, the company supported the university with solar projects including manufacturing a solar car and a solar quadcopter.
- Boeing conducted a workshop on the theme of diversity and inclusion at Tata Consulting Services.
- Boeing celebrated the Global Day of the Engineer through speaking engagements at Boeing Saudi Arabia's key academic, research and development partners, such as KAUST. Boeing also addressed its strategy of working closely with technology partners throughout the world and discussed how the company determines where to create intellectual property.
In April 2017, several defense and commercial agreements were signed to further strengthen Boeing’s partnership with Saudi Arabia, create or sustain thousands of jobs in both the United States and Saudi Arabia, and enhance national security in the region. U.S. President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson joined King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, then-Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef Al Saud and then-Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud at a signing ceremony that included Boeing products and services. Among the announcements:
- Agreements to purchase Chinook helicopters and associated support services as well as guided weapon systems.
- Saudi Arabia’s intent to order P-8 maritime, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, based on the Boeing 737 commercial airplane.
- A joint venture with the kingdom to provide sustainment services for a wide range of military platforms. The agreement also supports Saudi Arabia’s efforts to grow its indigenous aerospace industry and ecosystem through its Vision 2030 initiative.
- A commercial registration certificate for the SRSC, a newly formed joint venture between Boeing, AAI and SAEI with bases in both Riyadh and Jeddah that will provide support for both military and commercial helicopters.
- An agreement between Boeing and SaudiGulf Airlines to negotiate the sale of up to 16 widebody airplanes.