RIYADH/OSLO, Oct. 29, 2019 -- Norway Saudi Aramco and Aker ASA today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop synergies on industrial digitalization and sustainability initiatives. The non-binding MoU has an emphasis on sustainability and green solutions, with a strong focus on enabling the digital transformation of industrial companies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Together, Saudi Aramco and Aker will explore and define efforts around topics such as the development and deployment of emerging digital transformational technologies, as well as sustainability and research initiatives tied to the ocean.
"We are pleased to announce this strategic partnership with Saudi Aramco and look forward to exploring a broad collaboration to address both industrial digitalization and sustainability -- two complementary areas that are fully aligned with our long-term strategic focus," said Øyvind Eriksen, President & CEO of Aker ASA.
To enable opportunities for digital transformation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Aramco and Aker are exploring ways to work together and possibly establishing a joint venture with Cognite, a premier industrial software company and majority-owned subsidiary of Aker. Cognite will supply Cognite Data Fusion (CDF), a software package that accelerates the use of artificial intelligence and advanced analytics for industry.
"I look forward to seeing how Saudi Aramco’s expertise and culture of innovation combines with Cognite’s experience in developing and deploying cutting-edge industrial software," said Dr. John Markus Lervik, CEO of Cognite.
Saudi Aramco is also looking at ways to improve synergies with the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Norway (C4IR Norway). The center, jointly launched by Aker and the World Economic Forum (WEF) and to be headquartered in Norway, is dedicated to harnessing technological advances to preserve the ocean and improve the environmental footprint of ocean industries.
The parties will also explore the possibility of establishing joint industrial software and artificial intelligence research centers to strengthen the collaboration between academia and institutions in Saudi Arabia and Norway. These centers are also intended to function as knowledge hubs for industry.