Posted: February 5, 2008

Nanotechnology research collaboration between King Abdullah University and Hong Kong University

(Nanowerk News) A delegation from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), led by His Excellency Ali I. Naimi, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and Chairman of KAUST's Board of Trustees, visited Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) today to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishing a long-term collaboration between the two research institutions.
KAUST is a new world-class, graduate-level research institution currently under development in Saudi Arabia and that is pursuing global collaborations with institutions such as HKUST as part of its efforts to build its intellectual capacity. HKUST, one of the world's fastest developing institutes for science and technology with expanding industrial collaboration, is dedicated to advancing the fields of science and engineering within Hong Kong, expanding into mainland China, and internationally. The MOU with HKUST marks KAUST's sixth research agreement with a major international university in the last eight months. The MOU calls for activities that will open new frontiers in marine genomic research and nanotechnology, two areas of study for which HKUST is internationally acclaimed. Under the agreement, scientists will conduct marine research off the coast of the Red Sea where the KAUST campus is located.
"This collaboration's potential to spawn great discoveries and great benefits for Saudi Arabia and the world is great and exciting," said Mr. Nadhmi Al-Nasr, KAUST interim president. "HKUST is widely known and respected for its pioneering work in marine biology and nanotechnology, and KAUST intends to be a strong catalyst in expanding the promise of that work."
The KAUST/HKUST collaboration will enable:
  • design, construction and initial operation of research centers and lab facilities at KAUST;
  • collaborative research programs conducted initially at HKUST and later at KAUST;
  • scientific and/or technological meetings on topics of mutual interest;
  • exchange of personnel, including scientific, technical and administrative staff from time to time;
  • the establishment of fellowships to support graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from HKUST to KAUST for research in Saudi Arabia, and from KAUST to HKUST for research in Hong Kong.
  • Also speaking at the MOU signing ceremony, HKUST President Professor Paul Chu expressed his delight with this partnership. "We are very excited about this collaboration. Both universities are among the most forward-looking and mission-driven institutions of higher learning. We are also the most research-intensive. I am confident our joint efforts will yield many happy results to the benefit of all concerned," he said.
    In addition to the HKUST agreement, KAUST has also signed agreements to create similar partnerships with: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (United States); Institut Français du Pétrole (France); National University of Singapore, the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (India); American University in Cairo (Egypt); and Technische Universität München (Germany). KAUST also recently concluded its first industrial collaboration agreement with an industry partner, GE Global Research Center, based in the United States.
    About KAUST:
    King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is being built in Saudi Arabia as an international, graduate-level research university dedicated to inspiring a new age of scientific achievement in the Kingdom, across the region and around the globe. As an independent, merit-based institution, KAUST will employ many of the best practices from leading research universities and enable top researchers from around the globe and across all cultures to work together to solve challenging scientific and technological issues. The KAUST global research and education network will support diverse talents, both on its campus and at other premier universities and research institutions, through collaborative research agreements, grants, and student scholarship programs. The core campus, located on more than 36 million square meters on the Red Sea at Thuwal, is set to open in September 2009. For more information about KAUST, visit
    About Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST):
    The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is a leading university in Asia with special emphasis on research, post-graduate education, and close collaboration with business and industry. The University comprises five Schools: the Schools of Science, Engineering, Business & Management, Humanities & Social Science, and the HKUST Fok Ying Tung Graduate School in Nansha, Guangdong Province. Current student enrolment is about 9,000 at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Plans are underway in preparation for the transition from a three-year to a four-year undergraduate program, with a concomitant expansion in student and faculty numbers. The medium of instruction and administration is English. For more information about HKUST, visit
    Source: KAUST/HKUST
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