Dow Innovation Center Opens in KAUST Research Park

The newly constructed Dow Innovation Center at KAUST was inaugurated on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 in a ceremony attended by Dow executive leadership, the KAUST Board of Trustees, University leadership, and special invited guests from Saudi Arabia.

Located in the KAUST Research and Technology Park, the Center will support Dow’s ramped-up research efforts to address critical needs in the Kingdom and the region including increasing energy efficiency and minimizing environmental footprint. The 13,500 m² space, designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, will house Dow’s Research & Development facilities and the newly established Dow Digital Marketplace Center for the region.

State-of-the-art labs, research areas and offices will provide application development and technical service focused on oil and gas technology solutions, sustainable coating and construction solutions, and industrial chemicals for a variety of applications relevant to Saudi Arabia and the region.

Dow Chief Technology Officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa Wiltrud Treffenfeldt (right) speaks with Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources H.E. Khalid A. Al-Falih in the new labs at the Dow Innovation Center on KAUST campus.

The vision for a Dow center at KAUST was born at the start of the two partners’ relationship in 2009, when Dow became a founding member of the KAUST Industrial Collaboration Program, which works through a close academic-research-industry partnership to commercialize research breakthroughs into practical applications and solutions for the market.

The Center’s completion marks a significant stage in the growth of the KAUST Research and Technology Park, which is home to leading companies from Saudi Arabia and around the world. Nesma and Partners Contracting Co. Ltd. has been the official contractor for the Dow building and architectural firms HOK and Kirksey Architects designed exterior and interior of the center respectively with Vanderweil Engineers delivering the MEP engineering

“The new Dow Innovation Center marks the culmination of a decade long journey to have a dedicated facility focused on innovation and talent development to support the growth in the Kingdom,” stated Chuck Swartz, president of Dow Saudi Arabia. “This facility is perfectly aligned to Dow’s strategy and our commitment to this region, employing a highly skilled workforce, a number already are graduates from KAUST with diverse backgrounds in science and engineering.”

Chuck Swartz of Dow speaks during the inauguration of the Dow Innovation Center on KAUST campus.

“The Dow Innovation Center represents yet another milestone in Dow’s deep and growing commitment to the Kingdom and region, which I am proud to say has been largely supported and facilitated by its partnership with KAUST over the years,” said Nadhmi Al-Nasr, KAUST interim president. “By integrating the profound research developed at the University into industry solutions, the Center is helping to advance KAUST’s larger mission to drive the country’s future knowledge and innovation economy.”

Dow CEO-elect Jim Fitterling speaks during the inauguration of the Dow Innovation Center on KAUST campus.

In addition to the cutting-edge research and innovation which will come to define the Center’s work, it will also serve as a unique hub for direct knowledge exchange and talent development between KAUST and Dow. Through mutual collaboration including internships and research experience for KAUST students, postdocs and researchers, to opportunities for further academic pursuits and training of Dow’s employees, the Center will be key in continuing to shape and drive the University’s intellectual ecosystem.