In October 24, 2017, NEOM was announced as a major new economic development with a mission emanating from Vision 2030 “to thrive the transformation of the Kingdom into a leading global hub”. Situated in Northwestern Saudi Arabia along the Red Sea, NEOM is strategically located to connect Asia, Europe, and Africa. Its location is enhanced by a temperate climate surrounded by an environment that is both pristine and diverse, ranging from a coastline of beaches and coral reefs to mountains; with rich historic standing.

NEOM aspires to be a global role model for future development. In a region with limited existing infrastructure, there is an opportunity to re-imagine the design of essential energy, water, food, and mobility infrastructure, as well as the provision of societal services of healthcare, education, and leisure, all in support of exemplary efficiency and livability. Furthermore, environmental stewardship is an essential aspect of NEOM’s vision. NEOM plans to be solely powered by renewable energy while operating under the highest standards of sustainability with clean and efficient energy consumption in order to preserve the pristine nature of NEOM’s marine, coastal, and inland environment.

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These grand ambitions require not only diligent master planning but also a readiness to relentlessly pursue and incorporate innovative and disruptive solutions. In recognition of the essential role of science and technology to achieve this vision, KAUST and NEOM announced on March 20, 2018, the establishment of the Center of Excellence for NEOM Research at KAUST (CoE), a cooperative effort of “developing and establishing a world-class research and educational center” that will “search for solutions to some of the most pressing challenges of our time”. Indeed, many of the challenges facing NEOM go beyond NEOM’s boundaries and coincide with global challenges that KAUST researchers have already been pursuing. Visit Center of Excellence for NEOM Research at KAUST website.


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