Saudi Arabia’s spending on information technology is expected to reach SR46.3 billion by 2015, Muhammad Al-Suwaiyel, president of King Abdul Aziz City of Science and Technology, said yesterday quoting a recent study. “In 2010 the Kingdom’s spending in the information technology sector rose to SR27 billion,” he pointed out while highlighting the importance of the International Conference on Computing and Information Technology at Taibah University in Madinah. The three-day conference, which opens today, aims to bring together scholars and industry practitioners representing a wide variety of specializations in computing and information technology. “This conference will be a platform for exploring latest results, best practices and future trends,” said one of the organizers. “We have invited scholars and industry practitioners to submit results of their original research and case studies,” he pointed out. Conference topics include: Computer science, information systems, software engineering, computer networks, information security, computer engineering, e-government and e-transactions. In a statement on the occasion, Higher Education Minister Khaled Al-Anqari thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for his support to the conference that aims at promoting transfer of science and technology to the Kingdom. “These kinds of conferences are an important means for the teaching staff and students of Saudi universities to learn the latest developments in the field and enhance their skills and knowledge,” he said. Taibah University currently enrolls over 55,000 students through 26 colleges. Scientists and researchers from over 70 international universities will meet today at the conference. Participating universities are from the United States, Canada, Malaysia, Turkey, Pakistan, India, Egypt and Jordan. More than 288 papers were presented by 644 authors representing 37 countries, of which 186 where selected. One hundred and three scientific researches and 65 scientific brochures are to be discussed by specialists along with discussions on the use of technology in the fields of health care, architecture and traffic. The Rector of Taibah University Mansour Al-Nozha said Madinah was for over 1,000 years a source and center of science and knowledge, and the conference is a reflection of the great support the king is providing for research and to the role of the universities in general and Taiba University in particular. Al-Nozha pointed out that arrangements have been made with the goal of attracting nominated international names in the technology field to share their expertise in the area. There is a future plan to hold a second and third conference.