Robotics & Automation News

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Saudi Arabia announces spectacular $100 billion investment to establish industrial robotics and automation business

Alat – a PIF company launched on February 1, 2024 by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Alat – has announced the establishment of a strategic partnership with SoftBank Group to establish a next generation industrial automation business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that will manufacture groundbreaking industrial robots.

PIF is short for the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia. PIF is one of the largest investment funds in the world, with approximately $776 billion in assets.

Alat, headquartered in Riyadh, has been established to create a “global champion” in electronics and advanced industrial segments and mandated to create world class manufacturing enabled by global innovation and technology leadership.

With an allocated investment budget of $100 billion, Alat is partnering with global technology leaders to “transform industries while establishing world class businesses in the Kingdom, powered by clean energy”.

Today, Alat is proud to announce the creation of a joint venture with SoftBank Group that will manufacture industrial robots for a wide variety of industrial manufacturing and assembly processes that will radically transform manufacturing.

The partners will invest up to $150 million to establish a fully automated manufacturing and engineering hub in Riyadh that will serve local and global demand. The first factory is targeted to open in December 2024.

Amit Midha, CEO of Alat, says: “We want this to be the start of a gamechanger for manufacturing around the world. Together with SoftBank Group, we see an immense market opportunity for robotics both in the Kingdom, the Gulf, and globally.

“With this initial set-up, we predict a contribution of 1 billion dollars to Saudi Arabia GDP by 2025. Our ambition is to fundamentally transform industrial manufacturing by robots, manufactured in the Kingdom.”

Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group, says: “The combination of Saudi Arabia’s vision, economic growth, and leading logistics location coupled with abundant access to green energy and Alat’s mandate to manufacture sustainably, made this strategic partnership between us very compelling.

“Today’s announcement marks a historic milestone for how future manufacturing will take place.”

The new JV will build industrial robots based on intellectual property developed by SoftBank Group and its affiliates that will perform tasks with minimal additional programming, that are ideally suited for industrial assembly and applications in manufacturing and production.

The robot manufacturing factory that the JV will create in the Kingdom is a lighthouse factory, that will use the latest technology to manufacture unprecedented next generation robots to perform a wide variety of tasks.

By 2030, Saudi Arabia’s extensive infrastructure investments will be the foundation to accelerate the adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution applications in the Kingdom, enhancing supply chains and logistics.

By 2035, some 32,000 factories are expected to be operating in the country powered by clean energy and enabled with leading edge technology.

Saudi Arabia is one of the most intense sunlight regions in the world receiving around 105 trillion kilowatt hours a day, which is equivalent to 10 billion barrels of raw oil in energy terms.

Alat is focused on transforming manufacturing making it carbon zero manufacturing, with sustainability at the heart of everything.

Main picture courtesy of Asharq Al Awsat

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