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.


Top CEO Conference & Awards wraps up in Bahrain

Updated 17 April 2019
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Top CEO Conference & Awards wraps up in Bahrain

The Top CEO Conference & Awards 2019, organized by TRENDS magazine — Mediaquest and international business school INSEAD, has concluded at the Al-Areen Palace and Spa in Bahrain. The event, held on Thursday, included seven key panel discussions under the theme “Growth in a Volatile Future” as well as the Top CEO Awards 2019 ceremony, which recognized the region’s most successful and trendsetting CEOs from more than 700 companies listed on GCC stock exchanges.

Top business leaders and more than 30 speakers from across the GCC shed light on the Middle East’s dynamic but volatile region and the burning issues facing the corporate world today. This year’s theme focused on a score of relevant issues, such as oil price fluctuations, tech disruptions, armed and political schisms that pose new risks, and opportunities. Speakers such as renowned economist Professor Nouriel Roubini provided growth solutions and road maps for businesses in the GCC region.

Alexandre Hawari, CEO of Mediaquest, said: “In its fifth edition, the Top CEO Conference & Awards fully encapsulated the theme of ‘Growth in a Volatile Future’ by acknowledging and exploring the growth transformation that the region is undergoing through digitalization and the fourth industrial revolution amid geopolitical tensions, looming trade wars and a rapidly evolving business environment. Building on the huge success of the previous years, the Top CEO Awards 2019 recognized CEOs and companies who have raised the bar by navigating challenges, implementing new strategies, and have demonstrated unquestionable growth, profitability and excellence in corporate governance.”

The conference kicked off with an opening keynote from Jassim Al-Seddiqi, CEO of the Abu Dhabi Financial Group and chairman of GFH Financial Group, who delved into the potential of transforming the region into a fintech hub and the importance of jumping on the digital bandwagon. 

The prime panel discussion on the “Future of Growth Amid Volatility” brought together five CEOs who explored methods to create future-proof strategies that can not only tackle challenges but also boost growth in a tough geopolitical and economic climate. 

Hisham Al-Rayes, CEO and board member of the GFH Financial Group, said: “Investing in the future in areas such as fintech, education and technology, the foundations for strong, enduring knowledge-based economies, is a priority for the group and the governments of the region in which we invest.”

“The Blockchain Opportunity” and “The Human Factor and Tech Innovation” panels brought together industry experts from Facebook, the Bahrain FinTech Bay and King Abdul Aziz University. 

“The Future of Women’s Business Leadership” panel discussed positive strides taken by GCC governments and businesses in leveling the playing field for women professionals.