An impressive overview of King
Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in
Jeddah: An overview of King Abdullah University of Science and
Technology's (KAUST) progress since its inception 19 months ago
was provided by its top researchers at a session on the sidelines
of the ongoing 11th Jeddah Economic Forum on Monday.
Within a short span, KAUST has to its credit a number of exclusive
researches, with efforts continuing to make them beneficial to
Saudi Arabia's commercial ventures.
"KAUST is not a castle, but an
open university. Although our research studies are of
international level, we'll endeavor to make them useful to the
local business community, including small and medium enterprises,"
Professor Jean Marie Basset, director of Catalysis Research Center
at KAUST, said.
Terrence McElwee, director of technology transfer and innovation,
and Amin Shibani, vice president of economic development, both at
KAUST, also gave presentations at the session conducted by Jeddah
Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Vice Chairman Lama A. Al-Sulaiman.
Asked by a questioner how beneficial is KAUST to the student
community in general, Shibani said KAUST is currently planning a
summer program for students, both Saudi and expatriate.
aimed at bringing students closer to the activities of KAUST,"
Shibani said, adding: "We are going ahead with our targeted
audience in the initial stages."
Al-Sulaiman emphasized that the JCCI, in the interest of its
members, is interested in getting the advantage of KAUST, which is
shaping into a world-class research center with its slogan "A new
house of wisdom" and located just about 90 km from Jeddah.
its mission is to contribute to knowledge economy, we would like
to be in touch with KAUST through its user network so that our
members benefit from its research activities," she added.
In this connection, McElwee said MENA400.com could be of immense
advantage to the business community.
Explaining, he added, MENA400 is a
new way to approach technology-based economic development that
focuses on what individuals can do now. It helps with new business
ideas, new ways to obtain key technologies not currently available
in the region, new business models customized for the region or a
country, new user networks around topics like venture capital or
patent licensing, new online tools and resources to extend the
power of the network, and partnerships between researchers and
companies who need R&D solutions. After all, a little inspiration
goes a long way.
"We are here to help companies build them their own designs and
networks; we don't make designs and networks for them, he said. "KAUST
aims at becoming a leading model; transfer of our researches from
the lab to the marketplace is the challenge," he added.
A questioner provided an interesting point of discussion when he
said Jeddah was producing a huge amount of volcanic ash through
the business of recycling of automobile tires. "It's emitting a
huge amount of black carbon (to the detriment of the environment),
he said and wanted to know how KAUST could help him. "Used tires
found around the city are a huge problem," he said.