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Saudi Arabia’s Alat to set up robotics venture with Japan’s Softbank

Japanese firm Softbank is one of those involved in the deal. (Shutterstock)
Japanese firm Softbank is one of those involved in the deal. (Shutterstock)
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24 Feb 2024 05:02:05 GMT9
24 Feb 2024 05:02:05 GMT9

Arab News Japan

TOKYO: Alat, a Public Investment Fund company launched on February 1 by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has announced the establishment of a strategic partnership with SoftBank Group to establish a next-generation industrial automation business in Saudi Arabia that will manufacture groundbreaking industrial robots for a wide variety of industrial manufacturing and assembly processes. 

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.

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

Amit Midha, CEO of Alat, said: “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 to Saudi Arabia’s GDP by 2025. Our ambition is to fundamentally transform industrial manufacturing by robots, manufactured in the Kingdom.”

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

Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group, commented: “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.”

Alat, headquartered in Riyadh, was established to create a leading company in electronics and advanced industrial segments. With an investment budget of $100 billion, Alat is aiming to partner with global technology leaders to transform industries and establish world-class businesses in the Kingdom, powered by clean energy.

SoftBank is an investment holding company that invests in breakthrough technology such as AI, smart robotics, IoT, telecommunications, internet services, and clean energy. The PIF’s relationship with SoftBank stretches back to 2016, when it became the largest investor in SoftBank’s first Vision Fund, committing $45 billion.

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