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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has recently set out national aspirations and ambitions to become a global Research, Development, and Innovation (RDI) powerhouse in the next 20 years. With intentions to boost the performance of its RDI ecosystem (currently ranked 51st in the GII ), the Kingdom’s national RDI aspirations and ambitions aim to increase RDI expenditure, maximize GDP contribution out of RDI, attract top local and international researchers and scientists, and propel the Kingdom’s position in global RDI rankings.
In line with its ambitious vision, competitive advantages, and desire to protect the future of generations to come, the Kingdom has also announced four national priorities aiming to foster technological development and socio-economic growth. These are: 
- Health and wellness
- Sustainable environment and essential needs 
- Energy and industrial leadership
- Economies of the future 
While research infrastructure is a key enabler for a nation’s RDI output, the impact of a research infrastructure is not directly produced by the research infrastructure itself but rather by its users; therefore, users access to research infrastructure is a prerequisite to achieve innovation, scientific excellence, and socio-economic impact. Over the past decades, the Kingdom has invested significantly in research infrastructure managed by host organizations like higher education institutions or research organizations. However, only a few of these host organizations grant open access to this infrastructure, with an absence of a national policy setting out principles on open access to government-funded research infrastructure.
This has contributed to financial, innovation and operational challenges, including:
Suboptimal use of existing government-funded research infrastructure, which has led to limited return on investment for government spending
Limited accessibility to government-funded research infrastructure essential for cutting-edge research, which is hindering the RDI endeavors of ecosystem players
Suboptimal collaboration between industry and RDI players, which is resulting in misalignment of RDI supply and demand 
Non-standardized access policies across host organizations and a lack of alignment with best practices
To address the identified challenges and help achieve the national RDI aspirations and ambitions of the Kingdom, this policy sets out national principles on open access to government-funded research infrastructure.

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