SDG9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Al Maarefa University’s Role in Advancing SDG 9: Fuelling Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure in Saudi Arabia

Sustainable Development Goal 9 (SDG 9) underscores the importance of building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation. Al Maarefa University, situated in Saudi Arabia, is committed to contributing to the realization of SDG 9 by promoting innovative education, research, and collaborations that drive industrial development and technological progress.

Promoting Innovative Education:

Al Maarefa University places innovation at the forefront of its educational approach. By offering programs that foster critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity, the university equips students with the skills necessary to drive technological advancements in various sectors. Graduates are prepared to contribute to the growth of industries that rely on innovation for competitive advantage.

Research and Technological Advancement:

The university’s commitment to SDG 9 is evident through its research efforts focused on technological innovation and industrial development. Al Maarefa University engages in research projects that address key challenges faced by industries in Saudi Arabia, ranging from advanced manufacturing to renewable energy technologies. By generating knowledge and innovative solutions, the university supports the growth of local industries and contributes to economic progress.

Collaboration with Industry:

Al Maarefa University collaborates with industries and businesses to align its programs with market needs. The university’s partnerships with various sectors ensure that graduates possess the skills demanded by the job market, effectively bridging the gap between education and industry. This collaboration also fosters technology transfer and supports the development of innovative products and services.

Entrepreneurship and Start-Up Support:

Al Maarefa University fosters an entrepreneurial spirit among its students and faculty members. The university offers support to aspiring entrepreneurs through workshops, mentoring, and access to resources. By nurturing a culture of entrepreneurship, Al Maarefa University contributes to the development of a vibrant start-up ecosystem that drives innovation and economic growth.

Infrastructure Development:

The university’s commitment to infrastructure development is evident through its investments in modern facilities, laboratories, and technology-enabled learning environments. These resources empower students to gain hands-on experience and engage in practical projects that align with the principles of SDG 9.

Promotion of Sustainable Practices:

Al Maarefa University recognizes the importance of sustainable industrialization. The university integrates concepts of sustainability, circular economy, and environmental responsibility into its programs. By promoting sustainable practices, Al Maarefa University contributes to the development of industries that prioritize both economic growth and environmental stewardship.

Capacity Building:

Al Maarefa University plays a crucial role in building the capacity of the workforce to meet the demands of evolving industries. The university’s commitment to equipping students with cutting-edge skills and knowledge ensures a steady supply of qualified professionals who can drive innovation and contribute to the growth of various sectors.

Al Maarefa University’s dedication to SDG 9 is evident through its multifaceted efforts to promote innovation, industrial development, and infrastructure enhancement. By offering innovative education, engaging in research, fostering industry collaborations, supporting entrepreneurship, and promoting sustainable practices, the university contributes significantly to Saudi Arabia’s journey toward economic diversification and technological advancement. Through its commitment to SDG 9, Al Maarefa University plays a pivotal role in shaping a resilient and innovative future for the country.

Deanship of Scientific Research

The Deanship of Scientific Research of AlMaarefa university aspires to a culture of research for new knowledge and new applications of existing knowledge. It assures a research-friendly environment and provides all necessary resources for staff and students to excel in research and publication in top journals. The research program is tightly integrated with the academic programs and is relevant to sustainable national development goals.

Message from the Supervisor for the Deanship of Scientific Research

AlMaarefa University (UM) works on the principles of generating long lasting knowledge and yield value to the community. It is an undeniable fact that knowledge-based on research will provide sustainable development and could be useful for widespread benefits. The deanship in AlMaarefa University (UM) is privileged to be defining our future by spreading the culture of research across all its spectrum through support and encouragement. It works on fostering active research among students, faculty members, and other employees. The center acts as a channel of contact and collaboration for research units of all three colleges of the University.  Organizationally, the University research committee regulates the executive functions of the center and it directly reports to the University Vice-rector for its plan, objectives, implementation, and achievements.

As an integral component of the strategic plan, the deanship has developed an executable and reliable research plan for the next six years (2020-25). The commitment to the transformational and new entrepreneurial approach to research, discovery, innovation, and technology transfer is evident from this plan. It aims to contribute to the prosperity and wellbeing of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  The third strategic goal of UM is to ‘Promote and support high impact scientific contributions’. There are sixteen initiatives/projects proposed during this period and 69 Key performance indicators are identified. The research center in coordination with all stakeholders will monitor work towards the execution of this plan. This ambitious plan for our research requires an unwavering commitment to developing a sound foundational infrastructure of policies, guidelines, and procedures that can efficiently and effectively nurture this expanded research plan for all stakeholders. Although this inaugural Research Plan will allow this journey to begin, we recognize the inevitable need for its constant evaluation and revision to meet yet unknown opportunities.

Message from the Director of the Research Center

Healthcare professionals constantly demand that the community develop and implement innovative remedies and technologies to overcome health-related difficulties and improve their quality of life. Scientific innovation, technology development, and their use for the welfare of mankind are possible only through creative minds and innovative approaches. Students and professors at health science colleges and universities are top-notch researchers with cutting-edge knowledge in clinical, translational, epidemiological, pharmaceutical, patient care, and population research. Since the beginning of the academic year 2019–20, AlMaarefa University has seen a transformation in terms of greater support and encouragement for scientific publications, which has significantly improved high-quality research publications. During 2020, this supporting mechanism helped in the publication of 56 research articles, which increased to 175 in 2021 and further elevated to 491 in 2022. The leadership of the university is keen to maintain consistency or even further improve our accomplishments in scientific publications and their citations. One central area on which we are focusing is on developing our own research infrastructure. This can be achieved through both internal and external support. Therefore, the research center requests all teaching staff and students to improve the utility of the existing instruments and infrastructure available in the university laboratories in addition to investing a major share of their research funds obtained either from the university or outside the university to develop their laboratory’s research infrastructure. The research center is also happy to inform you that we have started working on developing a central research laboratory as per the ISO 17025 standards. The research center is also developing research chairs to focus on specific thrust areas to develop expertise and promote significant contributions to society. The Dariyah Gate Research Chair, Medical Education Research Chair, Drug Development Research Chair, and Natural Product Research Chair are some of them being discussed at the preliminary stage. The research center also wants to start the AlMaarefa University research journal, which will be discussed shortly with all stakeholders. This is the beginning of our journey; we recognize the inevitable need for its constant evolution and updating with the support and coordination of all researchers at the university.


To create an exceptional climate of support for AlMaarefa University researchers.


To be a leading research-intensive university in the region and to be seen as a critical partner in developing and advancing research and technology initiatives.


  • Research excellence
  • Scientific integrity
  • Collaborated and teamwork
  • Social commitment

Objectives and Tasks

The deanship of Scientific Research aims to support and encourage scientific research at AlMaarefa University in line with the strategic plans and objectives. The deanship seeks to achieve its objectives through the implementation of the following tasks:

  • Prepare the executive operation plan for scientific research at University within the framework of its strategic plan, objectives, and policies, and follow up its implementation.
  • Prepare the executive operation plan for scientific research at University within the framework of its strategic plan, objectives, and policies, and follow up its implementation.
  • Follow up on the progress of scientific research groups in the University and to ensure the adequacy and effectiveness of their performance, coordinating their activities to achieve harmony and integration among them.
  • Coordinate with the appropriate local and international research institutions as a prelude to cooperating with it for the purposes of scientific research in order to serve the objectives and policies of the University in building local or international partnerships and/or agreements.
  • Establish the policies and procedures that encourage scientific research and research in the University and provide the necessary support to achieve the University’s goals in achieving outstanding scientific research.
  • Propose scientific research programs in the medical, health, and technology fields to achieve the University’s goals in the contribution to attaining the objectives of the national plan for science and technology and innovations in Saudi Arabia.
  • Encourage the scholars and researchers of the University’s faculty and students with intellectual and/or innovative capabilities to recruit and develop their capabilities to achieve the University’s scientific excellence goals.

Quality Center


Activating the quality assurance and accreditation processes of the university; to contribute for the attainment of the university’s mission and strategic objectives in accordance with the modern standards in educational institutions.


Quality shall be a core value for the AlMaarefa University community.

The Director’s Message:

For supporting Al Maarefa University in establishing an academic environment that contributes to building AL MAAREFA society and encouraging creativity, scientific and research excellence for society service that based on the importance of the organizational aspect in strengthening this trend, and in order to enable all university employees to activate the quality system.

Tasks of the committees have been formed to activate the university’s quality assurance and accreditation processes, and to contribute to achieving the university’s quality and its strategic goals in accordance with the latest standards in educational institutions.

Strategic Goals:

  • Disseminate the culture of quality and raise awareness of the concept of performance evaluation, quality assurance and continuous development.
  • Support and build the capacity of university staff in the field of quality assurance systems and mechanisms.
  • Strengthen and raise the efficiency of the university; and uplift the level of its productivity in both administrative and academic aspects.
  • Evolve a quality-laden educational system in all academic programs at the university.
  • Establish full-proof performance monitoring system at the university.
  • Support and encourage strategic planning practices at all levels of the university.
  • Contribute to raising the holistic satisfaction rate among the staff of the university.

Tasks of the Quality Center:

  • To prepare the annual operational plan for quality within the framework of the general strategic objectives and directions of the university; and pursue its implementation after its adoption in coordination with the relevant bodies.
  • Supervise the preparation of the strategic plan of the university in coordination with the relevant entities inside and outside the university for submission to the university rector; and tracked its application after approval has been obtained.
  • Provide guidance and advisory services to colleges, academic departments, and various departments of the university with the aim of instilling the culture of quality and strategic planning.
  • Link relationships with stakeholders in performance evaluation and quality assurance issues with other local universities to maximize benefits through exchange of experiences and consultations with these entities.
  • Coordinate with the International Cooperation Unit to arrange with appropriate international organizations in preparation for cooperation with them for development and quality purposes to serve the university’s objectives and policies in building international partnerships and agreements.
  • Track consistently to obtain the requirements of academic and administrative accreditation locally and internationally at the university in coordination with Quality Marks donors and related entities.
  • Tracing Institutional performance evaluation programs in coordination with colleges, academic and administrative departments to foster quality.
  • Carry out analysis of the results of performance evaluation and quality assurance activities at the university and submit an annual report to the competent body.
  • Frequent contacts with colleges, academic and administrative departments to ensure the preparation of the necessary periodic quality and accreditation reports and subsequently preserve those models of reports.
  • Deploy suitable mechanisms and procedures to improve the quality of academic and administrative performance at the university.
  • Follow-up the collection of the necessary data, information, and statistics to analyze the results of performance evaluation and quality assurance activities at the university and submit an annual report to the University Council. 
  • Devise performance monitoring plans to ensure the required administrative and academic quality and coordination with the university agency, support deanships, colleges and university departments respectively. 
  • Coordinate with the colleges’ vice-deanship for academic affairs to check out and ensure the regularity of the educational process at the beginning of each semester and prepare the necessary monitoring reports and submit them to the university vice-rector. 
  • Coordinate with concerned entities within the university to work and organize the necessary standardized tests; and conduct benchmarking exercise to assess the outputs of the university programs and the performance of supporting departments. 
  • Keep tab on the administrative development of the center in accordance with the recommendations of the approved periodic performance and operation reports. 
  • Maintain the property, facilities and the equipment of the university and ensuring that periodic maintenance is provided to it in coordination with the concerned departments. 
  • Follow-up of the reported regular procedures regarding the financial and administrative aspects, respectively. 
  • Prepare quarterly and annual reports of the university rector on the achievement levels and performance improvement couple with development proposals. 
  • Participate in the preparation of the university’s annual achievement as envisaged. 
  • Carry out any work assigned to him in its field of competence.

Under the auspices and honoring of the advisor of the custodian of the two holy mosques, hr.h. prince khalid al-faisal bin abdul aziz, prince of mecca, may god save him, the closing ceremony of the final liquidation of the national olympics for scientific creativity was held at the headquarters of (talent) in riyadh, the live broadcast was transferred from the emirate of mecca region on monday 8-3-2021, 24-7-1442, in the presence of his excellency the minister of education </b 60>dr. hamad bin mohammed al sheikh and his excellency the secretary general of dr. saud al saeed’s talent, the knowledge university participated in collaboration with the king abdulaziz foundation and his men for talent and creativity by presenting special awards for the talented.

the university was honored to present special awards to talented people andwas won by student majid abdullah al omari from biomedical and health sciences.

The university was represented by his excellency dr. nasser al-jarallah, undersecretary of the university of knowledge, and presented the special awards by professor dr. hamdan ibrahim al mohammed, advisor of the university agency , this participation is an extension of the previous and fourth years respectively within the framework of the community partnership of the university of knowledge in collaboration with the king abdulaziz foundation for talent and creativity “

Under the patronage of HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Riyadh, the closing ceremony of the National Olympiad for Scientific Creativity was held “ Ibdaa-2020”.  The event was held at King Saud University in Riyadh from 12-15 February 2020. 

The Minister of Education, Dr. Hamad and a delegation from the Ministry of Education attended the event.  UM participated in cooperation with King Abdulaziz and his Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba). UM students participated as organizing volunteers at the National Olympiad for Scientific Creativity.

The university also participated in providing special prizes for the talented, which was won by Elaaf Al Juaid from UM Biomedicine and Health Sciences. The university was represented by Dr. Huda Al Marshad, Assistant Vice-Rector for Female Students Affairs on Friday and Saturday,14-15 February 2020.

76 female  and 75 male students competed in the Olympiad “ Ibdaa-2020”, submitting 151 projects to win Olympic prizes.

Dr. Huda received the plaque of Honor from HRH, Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, given by the King Abdulaziz Foundation on Saturday, February 15th, 2020

Students were also awarded and photos were taken. UM’s participation is part of its ongoing social responsibility in cooperation with Mawhiba and in fulfillment of the MoU between the Mawhiba and UM’s Department of Talent and Creativity. The university takes this opportunity to congratulate its staff and students on this achievement. We are proud of our volunteer students and hope that UM is always honored with distinguished achievements and innovations.

Innovation Barriers Workshop

As part of the activities of extracurricular student activities, which specialize in the scientific aspect and innovations, the Department of Student Affairs in cooperation with the Faculty of Applied Sciences carried out a training workshop entitled: “Obstacles to Innovation” on Wednesday, 08/03/2017 prepared and presented by H.E. The Undersecretary of the Faculty of Applied Sciences Dr. Nasser Al Jarallah.

his workshop addressed two axes, the first of which is the dissemination of a culture of innovation by presenting the theoretical foundations of the concept of innovation in addition to ways to develop creativity in the field of innovation and the scientific and cognitive benefits gained for the innovative process to benefit the student by developing his innovative abilities. The second focus is on discovering talented students in innovation by observing and evaluating their characteristics, stimulating their abilities and inspiring them with creative ideas that end with an original innovative project by training students in innovation methodology.

During the introduction of innovation, Dr. Nasser al-Jarallah touched on misconceptions about innovation while clarifying the correct concepts of the method of innovation, as explained by His Excellency what are the obstacles to innovation and ways to overcome them and what is the difference between invention and innovation and that the most important step of innovation is the blogging phase of the innovation industry and the second step comes morally through self-encouragement within the innovator himself, and then encouragement and motivation from society.