KAUST, Elm ink agreement for research collaboration

Amer Bin Hashim Al-Qahtani of Elm and KAUST’s Dr. Kevin Cullen sign the collaboration agreement at the university in Thuwal.

THUWAL — King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), has signed an agreement with Elm, a leading digital solutions company owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), to collaborate in research and development on joint educational programs and events.

The agreement formalized a long history of collaborative partnerships between the two organizations and was signed on the KAUST campus in Thuwal by Elm’s Vice President for Research and Innovation Amer Bin Hashim Al-Qahtani and Dr. Kevin Cullen, vice president for innovation and economic development at KAUST.

In 2018, both organizations partnered to deliver two hackathons on the KAUST campus focused on energy and smart city solutions. Elm also sponsored KAUST students to attend Junction hackathon, Europe’s largest, at the end of 2018.

“The exchange of knowledge with industry is an important focus for KAUST as economic development is a key part of the university’s mission. This cooperation agreement will present new and exciting opportunities for entrepreneurial training as well as the development of applied and specialist scientific skills that will play a crucial part in creating Saudi Arabia’s knowledge economy, contributing to Vision 2030.

“Scientific activities such as technical courses and boot camps will provide increased opportunities for education and employment and also give access to the research expertise of KAUST’s world leading faculty,” said Dr. Cullen.

Attracting industry to KAUST to collaborate on education and research, employ KAUST graduates and to participate in bringing new technology to the Kingdom is an important area for the university.

“This agreement is part of Elm’s research and innovation strategy, which seeks to contribute to Vision 2030 by building a long-term strategic relationship with KAUST in fields of scientific research. This will lead to the building and operation of joint digital labs, attracting outstanding and talented students and adopting their ideas, setting up specialized collaborative training programs for students in Elm and supporting KAUST in events related to technology, innovation and creativity,” said Majid Bin Saad Al-Arifi, executive vice president for marketing at Elm.

This cooperation agreement will support Elm’s belief that knowledge is an essential element of economic and social development. It is interested in specialized programs that are consistent with its responsibility toward society. Together, KAUST and Elm seek to support the youth of Saudi Arabia and cultivate innovative minds to accelerate the development of a knowledge-based economy in step with today’s digital world. — SG