THUWAL - King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) announced on Wednesday that Boeing has become a member of the KAUST Industrial Collaboration Program (KICP).
KAUST’s Interim Vice President of Economic Development Ahmad Al-Khowaiter signed an agreement with Boeing Saudi Arabia President Ahmed Jazzar that makes Boeing, the world’s leading aerospace company, a key part of the University’s economic development program.
“Companies and universities need to be innovative if they are to remain globally competitive,” Al-Khowaiter said after the signing ceremony in Thuwal. “KICP membership provides our collaborators with recruiting and outreach support, offers both employment and funding prospects to students, and proffers challenging and meaningful research collaborations for our faculty.” KICP is designed to maximize the chances of effective industrial collaboration within the Kingdom and internationally by engaging key partners, all with a keen interest in the translation of knowledge into economic growth and job creation. KAUST is acting as a significant investor by developing infrastructure and providing substantial leverage potential to industry.
Al-Khowaiter noted that KICP enriches the research experience while also promoting economic development in the Kingdom by providing opportunities for the University, and its associated academic partners, to collaborate with outside groups.
“Boeing is defined by its technological edge,” Jazzar said. “We believe that working with KAUST’s professors and students on innovative technology research will help Boeing assimilate new ideas and innovative processes into our products and programs. This also is good for Saudi Arabia because it will help grow the capabilities of the Saudi research and development and scientific community to meet emerging needs within the Kingdom.”
“Boeing is actively looking to partner with the best researchers around the world to find and develop the best technology solutions for our customers, and we look forward to working with the people at KAUST,” added Peter Hoffman, director of Global Research and Development Strategy at Boeing Research & Technology, the company’s advanced, central R&D unit.
Drawing on global best practices, the University is establishing a Technology Transfer Office, an Industrial Collaboration Program, and a Research Park to support the creation of new businesses.
“KAUST will provide a home for existing companies seeking access to its academic strengths, an incubator, an entrepreneurship program, and the benefit of a regional seed and venture fund network,” said Dr. Charles Kingdon, director of Research Park and Industrial Collaboration. “KAUST seeks to create a single academic/industrial community free from the traditional artificial divides in order to drive innovation faster and more creatively.”
KICP funds are used to finance KICP initiatives, to support educational outreach to the University community and others in the region, and to support strategic studies and collaboration with other academic resources in Saudi Arabia.
There are three categories within KICP: Founder, Supporter, and Small Business. Each category carries a three-year commitment and comes with numerous benefits. Founders enjoy several privileges, including membership on the KICP Industrial Advisory Board, access to industrial information and match-making between academic programs and industrial needs, and privileged access to KAUST’s international research network.
The benefits of being a Supporter include in-Kingdom match-making among industrial collaborators, affiliates, research projects, faculty, and students as well as the opportunity to recruit talented and motivated students for jobs and internships.
The Small Business membership level will help small companies and KAUST-driven start-ups develop by using the University and its global network of faculty and resources. Additional benefits include access to advice and mentoring from the service team within the Innovation Center.