The pavilion of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) at the Cairo International Book Fair appears to be a model of the “New Saudi Arabia” with a bright future, leaving a mesmerizing impression on visitors.
The pavilion, which sheds light on the unique achievements being made by the Kingdom in the knowledge and innovation fields, evokes amazement and excitement among the visitors who represent multiple segments of people belonging to different nationalities.
Muhammad Al-Harbi from Madinah is one among them. “Every week I pass by KAUST signboards on my way to Jeddah or on my way back to Madinah, but I did not imagine that all these achievements, innovations, laboratories and intellectuals are living in such an incredible way among us. Indeed, KAUST is not simply a university but something more than that…”
The astonishment of the visitors does not stop at this point, but its expands and extends further when the supervisors of the pavilion explain about the university’s activities as part of the National Transformation Program and its support for the Kingdom’s development with a focus on supporting and nurturing the talents of KAUST in serving the country.
The Department of Innovation and Economic Development at KAUST at the pavilion is engaged in publicizing the university’s contributions in diversifying the Kingdom’s economic fields and transforming the economy into a giant one. The visitors’ curiosity transforms into astonishment; when they listen to briefings that the growth of the economy is based on knowledge through innovation; industrial cooperation; technology transfer; entrepreneurship; financing start-ups; and the Research and Technology City.
The supervisors at the pavilion also give detailed sketch about the major research facilities of the university; represented by three main entities:
1. Academic departments that include the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering; Department of Computer, Electrical and Computational Sciences and Engineering, and the Department of Science as well as Physical Engineering.
2. Eleven research centers: The Center for Advanced Membranes as well as Porous Materials; the Chemical Drilling Center, the Clean Combustion Center; the Computational Biosciences Center; the Desert Agriculture Center; the Supercomputing Center; the Red Sea Research Center, the Solar Energy Center; the Ali Al-Naimi Center for Petroleum Research and Engineering; the Visual Computing Center, and the Water Desalination as well as Reuse Center.
3. Basic laboratories as well as facilities and they are represented by the analytical chemistry laboratory, the biosciences laboratory, the coastal and marine resources laboratory, the main laboratory for vitreous cultures, the central laboratory for imaging and characterization, the main nanofabrication laboratory, the main supercomputing laboratory, and the scientific imaging laboratory. The mission of the central workshops is to support, design and manufacture tools as well as equipment for scientific experiments.