Collaborative Research


RDO to provide funding in support of KSA universities developing R&D related Collaborative Research Projects with industry.

Why is this initiative introduced by the RDO?

Collaborative research projects are deemed to accelerate the transfer of knowledge between academic experts and industry. These projects should revolve around the development of world-class research and its translation into practical applications through university-industry collaborative projects. The Collaborative Research Projects initiative aims to:

  1. Strengthen the capacity of the R&D ecosystem in KSA to produce high quality research with increased strategic impact
  2. Develop long-term partnerships with industry in conducting R&D that has a joint institutional interest
  3. Enable researchers to work in an industry setting to gather skills while fostering knowledge exchange and allow for industry to work in an academic setting
  4. Promote a sustainable R&D culture of collaboration across disciplines

The initiative will focus on empirically based research where possible solutions to key challenges and problems are addressed.

How large are the awards?

How large are the awards.png

Award: Between SAR 200,000 and 500,000 for 2-3 years

Each project will last for a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 3 years. Depending on the scale of the project, the RDO is responsible for determining the appropriate amount of funding to be disbursed relative to the amount requested in the application.  That said, for projects to be considered eligible for this grant, Industry contribution is required and match funding from the industry partner will improve the researchers chance of being awarded the grant.

Who can apply?

The competition will be open to researchers/research teams in KSA public or private universities. The PI must be established members (Assistant Professor or above) of a KSA public university or those from a KSA private or university (Saudi or non-Saudi) under the MoE umbrella. For the industry partners the research team can collaborate with, there is no defined requirements on the type of companies, but that they must possess expertise in the project field and must be able to contribute financially or match the funding. The industry partner can be an international company but is required to have operations in the Kingdom.


What can the money be spent on?

The spend plan for Collaborative Research Projects are detailed in the guideline document but at a high-level, the usage of the funding is divided into three categories: mobility, data collection, equipment and consumables. It is the research team's decision to determine allocation with clear justification.


How do I apply?

Further details can be found in:

Guidelines document

Expression of Interest (Stage 1)​


Letter of Intent​ 

Applications for the Collaborative Research Project Initiative must be submitted to the RDO electronically via the online application form on the website.

Applicants must ensure that the EOI forms with the Letter of Intent from the industry partner are received by the RDO electronically, at the latest, 4pm (16:00) on 21st of February 2019. An incomplete application or one that does not meet the eligibility criteria outlined in these Guidelines will not be considered. Shortlisted applicants will be informed of their status once the evaluation process is complete.

For any inquiries in regards to this initiative please contact us electronically at

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