KAUST first-ever Middle Eastern university to join world-class university-industry partnership program

International university-industry partnerships set to strengthen as KAUST connects to leading innovation companies and research universities.

KAUST has officially announced its membership as the first entity in the Middle East to join the prestigious University-Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP). This places KAUST alongside some of the world’s leading universities, including Stanford, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge, paving the way for the MENA region. The exclusive, invite-only membership of the UIDP program brings together international organization of universities and companies that focus on identifying key issues impacting university-industry relations and seek opportunities and innovative approaches to partnership and collaboration.

“Joining this group highlights how KAUST is making its mark in the Middle Eastern region and the world,” said Tony Chan, president of KAUST. “We strive to provide as much valuable insight to our fellow UIDP members as they will to KAUST.’

On the significance of the membership, Kevin Cullen, KAUST vice president of innovation and economic development, said, “It’s an honour for us to join this esteemed group of universities and organizations as the first university in the Middle East.  We are driven by making an impact with our research and discovering more avenues to translate that to industry – we look forward to the conversations, collaborations and opportunities that are to come.”

UIDP brings together representatives from top-tier universities and organizations, providing a unique forum to discuss operational and strategic issues that can improve partnerships and foster cross-sector collaboration. Joining the program, KAUST will unite with other organizational members to share ideas and discover collaborative opportunities in the areas of contracting, government engagement, economic development, partnership management, research administration, workforce development, and student engagement. Organizational members gain access to UIDP resources and activities, including regular networking opportunities, project collaborations, events, and working research groups.

Welcoming KAUST, Anthony Boccanfuso, UIDP president and CEO said, “UIDP members include top-tier research universities from around the world and leading multinational companies across all sectors. KAUST’s membership allows us to continue to grow our program to meet our members’ needs strategically.”

The initiatives of UIDP align with KAUST’s mission to connect academia to industry to create impact. KAUST is devoted to advancing Saudi Arabia’s innovation and economic development as well as finding solutions for some of the world’s most pressing scientific and technological challenges.


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