Saudi Aramco Review

MIT ... entering into meaningful tie-ups with top companies

MIT ... entering into meaningful tie-ups with top companies

Pact with MIT to boost research

Saudi Aramco has agreed to become a founding member of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) and also plans to create a satellite R&D centre in Cambridge

SAUDI ARAMCO president and CEO Khalid A Al Falih and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) president Susan Hockfield have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), providing a framework that will greatly expand the research and education partnership between MIT and Saudi Aramco.

“Our signing is a solid testimony to the vision of advancing technology and higher education shared between Saudi Aramco and MIT,” Al Falih says.

“We have a long history in forging partnerships with world-class institutions. What excites me is the coming together of great minds from Saudi Aramco and MIT to find solutions for the world’s challenges while pursuing research of common interest and building human capital at MIT and Saudi Aramco, and contributing to building a knowledge economy in Saudi Arabia.”

Several elements of the MoU have been agreed to for implementation.

Saudi Aramco has agreed to become a founding member of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), raising its participation from its current sustaining membership.

This will entail a substantial increase in the scope of research collaboration, encompassing renewable energy; energy efficiency; energy economics; carbon dioxide (CO2) management and conversion; desalination; advanced materials; and a range of hydrocarbon production areas such as computational reservoir modelling and simulation, geophysics and unconventional gas.

MITEI founding members commit to a $5-million-per-year programme for a period of five years.

Al Falih also announced Saudi Aramco’s plans to create a satellite R&D centre in Cambridge, Massachussetts, to enhance the research collaboration and facilitate the exchange of researchers.

Saudi Aramco and MIT also have agreed to the terms of an enhancement of the Ibn Khaldun Postdoctoral Fellowship for Saudi Arabian women and to the terms of an engagement with the MIT Venture Mentoring Service aimed at increasing entrepreneurial activity in Saudi Arabia.

Hockfield says: “The relationship contemplated by the MoU would represent another substantial partnership between academia and industry, and serve MIT’s commitment to advance research, technology development and education around the world.

“We welcome this opportunity to build the scale and scope of our existing partnership and to enhance the transfer of knowledge between our two institutions.”

The MoU contemplates extensive additional cooperation in several areas:

Pticipation by Saudi Aramco in MIT’s Master of Engineering in Manufacturing programme;

Collaboration in enhanced precollege teaching in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through extension of the MIT/Blossoms programme;

Collaboration in online education;

Professional development through customised short courses and participation in advancing higher education for women in energy engineering fields;

Capacity-building, including possible job fairs and development of career opportunities in Saudi Arabia for suitable graduates;

Entrepreneurship and innovation programmes;

Professional development and lifelong learning programs, including joint conferences, workshops and technical symposia, and customised short courses; and

Cultural exchange and outreach programmes involving the King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture, the MIT Programme in Art, Culture and Technology, and the Agha Khan Programme for Islamic Architecture.

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