Saudi Arabia has announced Ignite, a new digital content creation and media production program, which aims to triple the size of the kingdom’s digital content market in games, audio, video and advertising.
The program is backed by an investment of $1.1 billion and will include incentives such as financial support for local, regional and international businesses and startups; infrastructure development; talent development programs and improved policies and regulations to enable the sector to grow rapidly.
The announcement was made by the Digital Content Council on the second day of LEAP22, the global technology platform currently taking place in Riyadh. The council said the initiative will transform the kingdom into a leading entertainment and digital media production hub, according to a statement.
Training courses will be available in three sectors – games, films and digital advertisements, to improve the skills of more than 4,400 participants over the next three years. The move will ensure that the country develops the skills required by the industry and equips local youth with the required skills.
The program will also complement the film fund, which will be allocated to the infrastructure, development, production and distribution of locally produced films, and another fund which will focus on games to develop games and build the necessary infrastructure. such as game studios.
To attract more local and international partners to Ignite, Saudi Arabia will also strengthen intellectual property protection measures. International and local partners will be able to benefit from a “one-stop shop” of investors that will streamline the process of investing in the Saudi digital content economy.
At the event, the kingdom also launched WiFi 6E, backed by the largest amount of spectrum available for WiFi of any country in the world. The combination of technology and a record amount of spectrum will allow Saudi Arabia to enjoy the fastest Wi-Fi speeds achievable in the world (2.4 Gbps). Enabling this advanced connectivity is expected to quadruple WiFi’s overall contribution to Saudi Arabia’s GDP, from $4.7 billion in 2021 to over $18 billion by 2030.
The WiFi upgrade is to be accompanied by other connectivity boosting initiatives, including the first regional trial of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite technology to extend reliable coverage to remote areas of Saudi Arabia. The CITC will also hold a spectrum auction in the first half of this year, a development that is expected to put the kingdom first in the world for spectrum available for fifth-generation (5G) networks and mobile communications. The contribution of 5G technology to GDP is expected to grow from $1.4 billion in 2021 to over $15 billion by 2030.
The event also unveiled a new partnership that will see Trend Micro open its regional headquarters for the Middle East and Africa in Riyadh. The head office has facilities including an executive information center, a learning and innovation center, meeting rooms and community gathering spaces as well as many other facilities for the benefit of the whole of the cybersecurity ecosystem.
Trend Micro also announced a security data lake and other investments in Saudi Arabia totaling over $50 million. A security data lake is a centralized repository to maintain and manage all logs or other data sources relevant to an organization’s security posture. It provides a single location to house, analyze, search and use security data.
The company also announced the creation of a center of excellence for cybersecurity expert advisory resources in the kingdom and will develop services and initiatives to help companies improve their cybersecurity and create programs that will help raise awareness among families to cybersecurity and online safety issues.
Read: In pictures: second day on Saudi Arabia’s LEAP22 global technology platform
Also read: LEAP22: Saudi Arabia unveils over $6.4 billion in investments in technology and startups