Dow Unveils Vision for R&D Center at the King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST)

Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) - April 06, 2010

The Dow Chemical Company, a world leader in science and technology, unveiled the vision for its proposed Middle East and Africa Research and Development (R&D) Center at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) on March 14 and 15, 2010 at the first Dow Innovation Summit held on campus.  The Summit was the culmination of the first phase of steps taken to further develop the multi-year, multi-million dollar R&D collaboration announced in September 2009.

The Summit was attended by students, faculty and staff from the KAUST community. March 14th events included a keynote speech by KAUST President Professor Choon Fong Shih, followed by a number of presentations from Senior Dow executives, all serving to reinforce the spirit of collaboration and commitment at the heart of the Dow-KAUST partnership.

The main component of March 15th events was the Dow Career Day, a recruitment event aimed to identify qualified KAUST candidates for the Dow R&D Center to be housed at the Research Park.  Summit events on March 15th included technical presentations by Dow scientists with expertise in water science, oil and gas R&D and infrastructure technologies - three areas where Dow will focus its research at KAUST.  Over 50 top candidates were interviewed at the Career event.

Middle East and Africa Research and Development (R&D) Center at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

 "KAUST and Dow have similar values. We speak the same language. We have the same objectives." said President Shih. "We are committed to jointly apply technology for the betterment of mankind, with particular emphasis on advancements dear to the Saudi community at large…and we are committed to nurture industry affiliations that equip graduates with the knowledge and professional skills to make a meaningful difference in their chosen careers. We will look back on this day as a milestone in our shared mission to grow the Kingdom's intellectual and human resources, while delivering innovations that drive sustainable economic development in the Kingdom."

Dow's R&D Center is aligned with Dow's growth strategy as a science and technology-oriented company. Newly appointed Dow Middle East President, Henry Roth said, "Any profit-driven, private company acknowledges Saudi Arabia's key role in this region's growth. Dow has been present in the Kingdom for over 30 years, through our products, services and various joint ventures. Our collaboration with a distinguished partner like KAUST reflects our commitment to intellectual growth in Saudi Arabia, but also demonstrates a commitment to listen to our private and public stakeholders - a commitment to serve our customers and community equally - to address meaningful challenges, together."

Senior Executives speaking on behalf of Dow included Dow Vice President for Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Neil Hawkins, Dow's R&D Director for Europe, India, Middle East and Africa Ernesto Occhiello and Human Resources Director for Middle East and Africa Stefan Vos.

"I am so thoroughly impressed with the University and the vision to which it aspires," said Hawkins. "At Dow, we fundamentally believe that Sustainability is good business. From developing innovations that improve daily life, to sustaining the health of our planet and employees, Dow has been setting the Sustainability agenda in the communities where we operate ever since our company was founded 114 years ago. Dow's R&D Center at KAUST is a remarkable addition to this storied history."

Hawkins announced the Dow Sustainability Innovation Award - an annual scholarship competition that Dow selectively administers at leading academic institutions around the world to foster innovation. By launching the sustainability award at KAUST, the University would join the ranks of Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, University of California - Berkeley and University of Michigan in the United States, and Peking University in China.

Ernesto Occhiello, Dow R&D Director for Europe, India, Middle East and Africa, who announced the appointment of Henk Pool as R&D Director for the Center at KAUST, put Dow's local and global R&D activities in the context of global challenges being address by chemistry. "This year, we will invest over $1.6 Billion in over 500 projects that span the globe and address the world's most pressing challenges - Health, Energy, Infrastructure and Consumerism. We could have decided to expand our knowledge base and develop our R&D capabilities anywhere in the world. We chose KAUST for its outstanding talent and unparallel facilities. The Dow R&D Center will be a base from which we can deliver on the mutual objectives of key customers and value chain partners, thereby delivering value growth and superior technical services and contributing to the subsequent transformation of Saudi Arabia into a knowledge-based economy."

About Dow

About Dow in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Dow's presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia began with two subsequent joint ventures with E.A. Juffali & Brothers, Arabian Chemical Company Ltd., manufacturing STYROFOAM* brand insulation (Jeddah) and latex (Jubail). In 2007, Dow and Saudi Aramco signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the construction, ownership and operation of a world-scale chemicals and plastics production complex in Saudi Arabia, named the Ras Tanura Integrated Project (RTIP). RTIP would be the among the world's largest petrochemical facilities and would represent the largest foreign direct investment to date in Saudi Arabia's petrochemical sector. In 2009, Dow expanded its global R&D footprint by partnering with the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology on a multi-year, multi-million dollar joint research framework.

About King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST)

On September 23, 2009, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) has been inaugurated 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 enable top researchers from around the globe and across all cultures to work together to solve challenging scientific and technological problems. The KAUST global research and education network supports diverse talents both on its campus and at other top universities and research institutions through collaborative research agreements, grants, and student scholarship programs. The core campus is located on the Red Sea, in Thuwal, on more than 36 million square meters. For more information about KAUST, visit

For Editorial Information:

Jad Najjar
Dow Chemical India, Middle East & Africa (IMEA)
971 4 312 3672

Ahmad Traifi
Weber Shandwick
+966 2 606 11 60

Reuven Proenca
Weber Shandwick
+971 4 321 0077

Anan Ibrahim
Weber Shandwick
+971 4 321 0077