Dow to Open Middle East R&D Center

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and The Dow Chemical Company have announced that they plan to build on their partnership by establishing the Dow Middle East R&D Center at the University’s adjacent Research Park and Innovation Cluster.

Substantial completion of the proposed state-of-the-art R&D center, to be jointly designed by the partners, is expected by the end of 2010. Initial research at the center will focus on water and water treatment technologies, eventually expanding its scope to oil and gas, processes research and development, and infrastructure materials. All of these activities are aligned with existing KAUST Research Centers.

KAUST is a graduate-level institution and the realization of the vision of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, to promote the advancement of science and technology and act as a catalyst in transforming Saudi Arabia into a knowledge-based economy. Dow’s plans include an initial annual minimum funding commitment of $1 million to support multi-year R&D sponsored projects and initiatives catering to the mutual objectives of Dow and KAUST students and faculty.

The center will also financially and intellectually support a number of dynamic programs and initiatives, including funding thesis research and semi-annual technology research challenges, as well as the Dow Talent Program to develop and train Saudi talent.

“By establishing the Dow Middle East R&D Center at KAUST, Dow has taken the lead among a group of distinguished multinational companies to partner with the leading representation of King Abdullah’s vision for KAUST,” said Andrew Liveris, chairman and chief executive officer, The Dow Chemical Company. “This is a memorable and promising day in Dow’s history, as we strive to invest for growth in fast-paced and high-potential economies like that of Saudi Arabia, and as we strive to ensure that our growth is sustainable and that our contributions to the world help address global challenges and provide for everyday, human needs. We stand by our partner in the endeavor to translate Saudi Arabia’s aspirations into reality.”

Professor Choon Fong Shih, the president of KAUST, said: “The Dow Middle East R&D Center at KAUST represents a promising commitment on Dow’s part to the vision of King Abdullah to have KAUST act as a catalyst in transforming Saudi Arabia into a knowledge economy by directly integrating research produced at the University into our economy. We are pleased to have Dow, a 112 years old world leader in the field of science and technology, as a partner in realizing this great vision. The establishment of the Dow Middle East R&D Center at KAUST is a significant event by itself, but we are also excited by Dow’s commitment to support research within KAUST’s walls, as well as by the prospect of having KAUST graduates hired by Dow, here in Saudi Arabia.”