DHAHRAN: ARAB NEWS
Published — Friday 11 January 2013
Last update 11 January 2013 12:55 am
Saudi Aramco and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), a leading world research institution, have announced they will establish a CO2 Research Center to jointly collaborate in research and development of innovative technologies and solutions to address the world’s energy challenges.
Khalid A. Al-Falih, president and CEO, Saudi Aramco, and Dr. Nam Pyo Suh, president, KAIST, signed a memorandum of understanding to establish the Saudi Aramco-KAIST CO2 Research Center near KAIST’s main campus in Daejeon. The signing ceremony took place at the Saudi Aramco headquarters this week.
The research center, jointly managed by Saudi Aramco and KAIST, will foster and facilitate the research and development of innovative technologies and solutions, conversion of CO2 into useful products, and develop efficiency improvements in its focus areas of research.
A joint working group comprising of scientists, experts and professionals from KAIST and Saudi Aramco will oversee the establishment and operations of the Saudi Aramco-KAIST CO2 Research Center and the agreement provides the framework for the group to share carbon management technologies, establish exchange programs and conduct joint projects.
Khalid A. Al-Falih said: "The new center represents a major step in Saudi Aramco’s research and technology strategy to partner with top global institutions to help address and find sustainable solutions to the world’s energy challenges both domestically and internationally.
"While we recognize that modern renewables are a welcome addition to the future energy mix, the world’s energy needs will continue to be met for many decades to come by existing conventional sources, primarily fossil fuels. It is important that investments are made in research and development that make the world’s primary energy sources more sustainable through efficiency and environmental stewardship, and I am confident our partnership with KAIST will help foster innovative solutions for the clean, reliable and efficient use of hydrocarbon fuels."
Dr. Suh said: "As demand for petroleum and natural gas is expected to increase due to a rising world population and continued economic development, it is imperative that we collaborate with top industry partners to tackle the world’s sustainability challenges and find innovative and sustainable solutions that will benefit all of mankind.
"Partnering with Saudi Aramco, the industry leader, is a significant step in meeting these challenges and Saudi Aramco’s integrated capabilities encompassing energy and technology would enable the CO2 Research Center to advance research and develop its focus areas."
KAIST Vice President of Research Kyoungwook Paik said: "Through the Saudi Aramco-KAIST CO2 Research Center, KAIST is demonstrating its willpower to apply science and technology to carbon management research in order to significantly enhance the quality of human life."
Samir A. Tubayyeb, vice president, Engineering Services, Saudi Aramco, said: "Saudi Aramco’s bold research and development strategy accentuates tapping into in-Kingdom and global centers of technical and academic excellence."
He said the company’s collaboration with KAIST is the first such partnership established in Asia and the MOU with KAIST enables collaboration between in-Kingdom universities and the CO2 Research Center’s research activities. Citing Saudi Aramco’s first satellite research and development center at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology last year, he explained that the company will establish research centers around the world in technology hubs in Europe and North America.
"The Saudi Aramco-KAIST CO2 Research Center represents another step part of our research and development strategy execution to help develop innovative technologies towards CO2 capture and conversion by bringing the strengths of Saudi Aramco as a technology innovator with those of KAIST as a center of academic excellence."
KAIST was established in 1971 as the Republic of Korea’s first graduate school specializing in science and engineering education and research. The school’s founding was a catalyst for Korea’s rapid rise from a producer of light industry goods to a world leader in high-technology industries.
Over the past four decades, KAIST has evolved into a global research university. The University’s strong faculty conducts internationally recognized research in cooperation with academic institutions and industries all over the world. KAIST offers generous grants and fellowships to international students, promoting Korea as a global educational power.
KAIST received in December 2012 global recognition from Thomson Reuters as one of the world’s Top 100 Global Innovative Organizations for 2012, and has been honored in particular for its breakthrough innovations in transporting CO2.
Dr. Suh is a former administrator and chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and he is an authority in axiomatic design theory. He serves on the board of trustees of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and on the international advisory board of King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.