Daejeon, Republic of Korea, January 9, 2013--The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and Saudi Aramco, a global energy and petrochemicals enterprise, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on January 6, 2013 in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and pledged to jointly collaborate in research and development of innovative technologies and solutions to address the world's energy challenges.
Under the MOU, the two entities agreed to establish a research center, Saudi Aramco-KAIST CO2 Research Center, near KAIST's main campus in Daejeon, Korea. The research center, to be jointly managed by KAIST and Saudi Aramco, will foster and facilitate research collaborations in areas such as tackling carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by removal or capture of CO2, conversing CO2 into useful products, developing efficiency improvements in energy production, sharing carbon management technologies, establishing exchange programs, and conducting joint projects.
KAIST President Nam-Pyo Suh said,
"As demand for petroleum and natural gas is expected to increase due to a rising world population and continued economic development, it is imperative that we collaborate with top industry partners to overcome the world's sustainability challenges and find innovative and sustainable solutions that will benefit all of mankind."
According to Saudi Aramco, the company's collaboration with KAIST is the first partnership established in Asia. Khalid A. Al-Falih, President and CEO of Saudi Aramco, said,
"The CO2 Research Center represents a major step in Saudi Aramco's research and technology strategy to partner with top global institutions to help address and find sustainable solutions to the world's energy challenges both domestically and internationally."
KAIST was established in 1971 as the Republic of Korea's first graduate school specializing in science and engineering education and research. The school's founding was a catalyst for Korea's rapid rise from a producer of light industry goods to a world leader in high-technology industries.
Over the past four decades, KAIST has evolved into a global research university. The University's strong faculty conducts internationally recognized research in cooperation with academic institutions and industries all over the world. KAIST offers generous grants and fellowships to international students, promoting Korea as a global educational power.
KAIST won in December 2012 a global recognition from Thomson Reuters as one of the world's Top 100 Global Innovative Organizations for 2012, and has been honored in particular for its breakthrough innovations in transporting CO2.