KAUST and NEOM establish Center of Excellence

KAUST Interim President Nadhmi Al-Nasr (left) and NEOM CEO Dr. Klaus Kleinfeld pose for a photo after signing an agreement to establish the KAUST-NEOM Center of Excellence for NEOM Research at KAUST.

KAUST and NEOM held a joint ceremony in Riyadh on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, to sign an official research collaboration agreement. The two Saudi institutions have agreed to establish a Center of Excellence for NEOM Research at KAUST.

"This collaboration is yet another milestone for the nation," said Nadhmi Al-Nasr, interim president of KAUST. "Much is expected of organizations with the intellectual capital and ambition of KAUST and NEOM in this time of national transformation, and this partnership represents an important avenue for exploring our joint potential and inevitable impact."

Both parties intend to cooperate in developing and establishing a world-class research and educational center. Together they will search for solutions to some of the most pressing challenges of our time, including sustainable energy production and distribution; urban planning; sustainable agriculture; seismology; environmental friendly water desalination; artificial intelligence; big data; and sensors.

"In less than 10 years, KAUST has become a driving force for research, technology, innovation and progress in Saudi Arabia and well beyond. KAUST and NEOM both are united in the vision to create breakthroughs in areas that are most important to the country and the world and deliver solutions to some of the most pressing questions of a future world," said Dr. Klaus Kleinfeld, CEO of NEOM.

A decisive step

Leadership within KAUST and NEOM view the cooperation as an initial yet decisive step that will further contributions to the development of the Kingdom as well as for global green and human-oriented technologies. The far-reaching agreement is also designed to be expanded to include other leading research and development institutions.

NEOM is a new destination being created as a free economic zone in the northwest of Saudi Arabia, including land in Egypt and Jordan along the Red Sea and Gulf of Aqaba. The new development spans over 26,500 km2 and puts 70 percent of the world's population less than eight hours away. NEOM will be backed by more than $500 billion over the coming years by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, as well as local and international investors. For more information, visit www.neom.com.