King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) have finalized a comprehensive cooperation agreement that establishes Dow’s Middle East and Africa R&D Center at KAUST on the University’s campus. The agreement represents another milestone for Dow as a Founding Member of the KAUST Industrial Collaboration Program (KICP). The agreement is expected to enhance Dow’s offering of academic and professional opportunities to the KAUST community and Saudi citizens. Dow previously unveiled its vision for an R&D partnership with KAUST at the Dow Innovation Summit in March of 2010.
Under terms of the definitive R&D agreement, Dow and KAUST will collaborate on a range of academic research programs tailored to KAUST’s areas of excellence in research and education.
The agreement’s main components include:
Formation of the Dow Middle East and Africa R&D Center at KAUST. R&D will be conducted out of the KAUST Innovation Cluster facilities until a permanent Dow facility in the KAUST Research Park is completed.
Research will initially focus on water, water treatment technologies, and oil and gas, later expanding to include fields of study pertaining to infrastructure.
Dow will provide opportunities and funding to educate and train citizens of Saudi Arabia. Dow has already offered academic development opportunities and extended permanent offers of employment to KAUST students and will continue to do so.
Dow will provide financial support for research challenge competitions. Firstly, in alignment with Dow’s 2015 Sustainability Goals, KAUST will administer the Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Research Challenge Program, which recognizes and rewards students for their innovation and research of sustainable solutions to the world’s most pressing social, economic and environmental problems.
Dow announced plans for the R&D Center in September 2009, shortly after announcing that it would become a Founding Member of KICP, which aims to enrich the research experience at the University while promoting economic development in Saudi Arabia.
KAUST President Professor Choon Fong Shih said: “The Dow-KAUST agreement represents a win-win partnership. Dow will be able to leverage KAUST’s talented students and outstanding faculty for expertise in cutting-edge technologies. KAUST will benefit from Dow’s long-standing R&D capabilities and its market and commercialization expertise as of one of the world’s leading science and technology companies.”
Dow Middle East President Markus Wildi, said: “KAUST combines socio-economic vision, technological capabilities, and commitment to talent development in a very creative and rather unique way, and the Dow R&D Center at KAUST is a reflection of our commitment to the intellectual and human potential of this distinguished institution. We are proud to be partnering with KAUST to pursue scientific leadership and research excellence. Our collaboration agreement lends strong support to the notion that Saudi Arabia will become an engine of innovation and a generator of solutions for modern developmental challenges like clean water supply and sustainable living.”