MIT and Saudi Aramco Augment Existing Collaboration
“Our signing today is a solid testimony to the vision of advancing technology and higher education shared between Saudi Aramco and MIT,” said Al-Falih. “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; CO2 management and conversion; desalination; advanced materials; and a range of hydrocarbon production areas such as computational reservoir modeling and simulation, geophysics and unconventional gas. MITEI Founding Members commit to a five-million-dollar-per-year program for a period of five years. Al-Falih also announced Saudi Aramco’s plans to create a satellite R&D center in Cambridge, MA 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 the Kingdom.
MIT President Susan Hockfield said, “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:
- Participation by Saudi Aramco in MIT’s Master of Engineering in Manufacturing program;
- Collaboration in enhanced pre-college teaching in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through extension of the MIT/BLOSSOMS program;
- Collaboration in online education;
- Professional development through customized 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 programs;
- Professional development and lifelong learning programs, including joint conferences, workshops and technical symposia, and customized short courses; and
- Cultural exchange and outreach programs involving the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology, and the Agha Khan Program for Islamic Architecture.
These cooperative efforts will be developed by a high-level MIT–Saudi Aramco steering committee.
About Saudi Aramco
Saudi Aramco is a fully integrated, global energy and chemicals enterprise and an industry leader in exploration and production, refining, distribution, shipping, marketing and petrochemicals manufacturing. The company manages proven reserves of 259.7 billion barrels of crude oil and manages the fourth-largest gas reserves in the world, 282.6 trillion standard cubic feet. Headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Aramco, through its affiliates, has joint ventures and subsidiary offices in China, Japan, India, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. Saudi Aramco also refines and distributes petroleum products throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to meet domestic daily energy demands. For more information, please go to www.saudiaramco.com.
About the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology — a coeducational, privately endowed research university founded in 1861 — is dedicated to advancing knowledge and educating students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century. The Institute has close to 1,000 faculty and 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It is organized into five Schools: Architecture and Urban Planning; Engineering; Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; Sloan School of Management; and Science.
MIT's commitment to innovation has led to a host of scientific breakthroughs and technological advances. Achievements of the Institute's faculty and graduates have included the first chemical synthesis of penicillin and vitamin A, the development of inertial guidance systems, modern technologies for artificial limbs, and the magnetic core memory that made possible the development of digital computers. Seventy-eight alumni, faculty, researchers and staff have won Nobel Prizes.