ASU and KAUST partner on innovation and entrepreneurial programming

By

Leslie Minton

Arizona State University has launched a trans-Atlantic partnership with one of the world’s fastest-growing research universities, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), which is located along the coast of the Red Sea in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.

KAUST and ASU will partner to share entrepreneurial expertise, advance sustainability research and commercialize research discoveries from both institutions.

“The ASU-KAUST partnership is an excellent example of what two global higher education institutions can accomplish when they join forces to share resources and expertise,” said Sethuraman Panchanathan, executive vice president of Knowledge Enterprise Development and chief research and innovation officer at ASU. “The partnership will not only further advance entrepreneurialism, innovation, technology transfer and economic development in Arizona and Saudi Arabia, but also bring together our world-class scientists to tackle grand challenges, such as water resource management, quality and conservation, through interdisciplinary research.”

ASU will facilitate workshops at the KAUST campus and will host KAUST students at ASU who are interested in meeting with and exchanging best practices with ASU entrepreneurs. KAUST students who visit ASU will have access to ASU’s resources and connections in Arizona and in Silicon Valley, including Draper University.

“As part of its broader innovation and economic development mission, KAUST is expanding its support and training for entrepreneurship to meet the growing interest amongst students and young people across the kingdom in innovation, creativity and design,” said Tristan Walker, vice president for KAUST Innovation & Economic Development. “Partnering with ASU provides further support for this effort as we look to enrich our entrepreneurial offerings and broaden the horizon for KAUST start-ups by providing a gateway to tap into global expertise.”

Additionally, ASU and KAUST will work together to commercialize new discoveries. ASU has resources to assist KAUST with commercialization in Silicon Valley and across the U.S., and KAUST has resources to assist ASU with commercialization in the Middle East.

“This cross-sharing of entrepreneurial expertise will foster growth and diversification within Saudi Arabia’s economy,” said Charlie Lewis, senior vice president of venture development for Arizona Technology Enterprises. “KAUST is an incredible university that recruits the best minds from around the world. Joining together with that kind of intellectual horsepower will produce a valuable partnership for both institutions."