Groundbreaking ceremony held for new Saudi Aramco research center at KAUST

From left, minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih, former minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and chairman of KAUST Board of Trustees Ali Al-Naimi, and president and CEO of Saudi Aramco Amin H. Nasser, in Thuwal, on Friday.
Updated 19 December 2016
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Groundbreaking ceremony held for new Saudi Aramco research center at KAUST

Saudi Aramco broke ground on the construction of a brand new, state-of-the-art research center, at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), with an expected completion date of mid-2019.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by former Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and Chairman of KAUST Board of Trustees Ali Al-Naimi, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Chairman of Saudi Aramco and Vice-Chairman of KAUST Board of Trustees Khalid Al-Falih, President and CEO of Saudi Aramco Amin H. Nasser, KAUST President Prof. Jean-Lou Chameau, and several government, academic and business dignitaries.
Al-Falih said: “Saudi Aramco and KAUST are leaders in technology development domestically and internationally. Their unique roles in developing innovative and original research is essential to the future success of the energy industry in Saudi Arabia.
“Their future joint research and development efforts, through collaboration and partnership, will help achieve the Kingdom’s strategic energy objectives and create business value in pursuit of the national objective of transition to a knowledge society, as enunciated in Vision 2030.”
“The groundbreaking (research center) marks a major milestone in the successful partnership between Saudi Aramco and King Abdullah University of Science & Technology, for the benefit of the nation as a whole,” said Saudi Aramco President and CEO Amin H. Nasser.
“Our relationship started when KAUST was just an idea and today, it has grown, literally from the ground up.
A number of highly promising technologies have been produced here, such as the Saudi Aramco inspection robots, and research here has contributed to many patents.”
The facility will allow Saudi Aramco to leverage its unique position within the R&D ecosystem at KAUST to accelerate the implementation of the company’s Technology Strategy. The facility will include laboratories and offices to support research in the areas of chemicals, intelligent systems, solar energy, reservoir engineering, computational modeling, and environmental protection.
“At KAUST, we are committed to advancing science, innovation and technology through distinctive and collaborative research, which relies upon the nurturing of ideas and talent,” said KAUST President Jean-Lou Chameau. “Partnering with Saudi Aramco on this new center is the latest of a series of shared successes to foster the transition to an innovation-driven economy sustained by intellectual capital and scientific discovery.”
The new center will be an 11,300 square-meter research facility, housing 132 scientists and researchers, aimed at supporting Saudi Aramco’s upstream and downstream research domains as well as environmental protection research efforts.
“This new facility is about expanding our research needs as a business. As part of our new technology strategy we are looking to enable our research domains through capitalizing on the world-renowned scientists, exceptional facilities, and international network of academic institutions affiliated with KAUST,” said Saudi Aramco Chief Technology Officer Ahmad Khowaiter.
The facility is intended to integrate with the University community and foster strong networks with other leading R&D organizations focused on solar energy, chemicals, fuel technology, robotics, hydrocarbon recovery, computational modeling and the marine environment.


Alef Education launches first project in US

From right, Geoffrey Alphonso, CEO of Alef Education; Geoffrey Canada, president of the Harlem Children’s Zone and chairman of NexGen Education; and Hanut Singh, CEO of NexGen Education and CEO of QBS Learning.
Updated 17 October 2018
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Alef Education launches first project in US

Alef Education, a UAE-based education technology company, has announced the launch of its Alef education system in the US.

The system will be used at Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) schools in New York city, starting Oct. 15.

The Alef education system brings together a blend of the latest technology and pedagogical approaches geared toward learners of today. A key component of the system is the “Alef Platform,” which has three main pillars: 

•A fun and easy-to-use digital learning environment 

•High-quality digital content developed to engage and stimulate learning with a blend of videos, interactivities and games. 

•Real time data provided within each lesson to truly enable educators to support personalized learning and identify student strengths and weaknesses. 

The partnership between Alef Education and the Harlem Children’s Zone schools started in 2017 when leaders of those organizations met. The meeting included a review of best practices in pedagogy, instructional design, the use of technology, and the best ways to identify difficult concepts and detect struggling students early using data. 

Alef Education identified NexGen, an education technology startup based in New York City, as its US-based partner to carry forward the implementation of the program at the Harlem Children’s Zone schools and other school systems across the US. 

Geoffrey Alphonso, chief executive of Alef Education, said: “As a leading education technology company, we want to play a significant role in the creation of the next generation of innovative individuals around the world, and continue to provide the latest innovations in artificial intelligence-based and technology-driven education solutions within a holistic education system.” 

He added: “The implementation of our innovative education system in the Harlem Children’s Zone schools in New York city speaks of a quantum leap in our long-term mission to leverage technology to provide students with the personalized education they need to succeed, while also empowering teachers with real-time, actionable data.” 

Geoffrey Canada, president of the Harlem Children’s Zone schools in New York and chairman of NexGen Education, named one of the world’s most influential people by Time magazine and as one of the 50 greatest leaders by Fortune magazine, said: “We are pleased to welcome Alef Education’s innovative education system into our schools in New York as of October 2018. Education systems across the world are witnessing unprecedented transformations and a transition to a more dynamic education based on new technologies. In this context, we have decided to adopt this program to further enrich the resources available to our students to ensure they have access to the best the digital education industry has to offer.”