EEC Sign Strategic Partnership Agreement with KAUST to Accelerate Future Growth

The MoU was signed by Mr. Cyril Piaia, CEO of EEC, and Prof. Tony Chan, President of KAUST, at a ceremony held at the university on Wednesday, 30 March.

Emaar, The Economic City (EEC), the master developer of King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). The strategic agreement provides the framework for collaboration in a wide range of areas in alignment with KAUST’s research pillars and KAEC’s business strategy and its vision to become a futuristic city and a manufacturing and logistics hub.

The MoU was signed by Mr. Cyril Piaia, CEO of EEC, and Prof. Tony Chan, President of KAUST, at a ceremony held at the university on Wednesday, 30 March. Mr. Mazen Al Saleh, Vice Secretary General, Economic Cities Affairs of the Economic Cities and Special Zones Authority (ECZA), and top management executives from the organizations were in attendance at the event.

The agreement covers areas as wide-ranging as community lifestyle, education, transportation, human capital, investment, research and development, entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility, infrastructure development, and smart city solutions. It aligns with the objectives of ECZA in enabling the private sector to lead the Kingdom’s sustainable development and drive the nation toward facing new and future global challenges. It will also deliver on ECZA’s goals to create new jobs, foster innovation that will shake up global industries, and elevate the quality of life of the people in the country.

Commenting on the partnership, Cyril Piaia, CEO of Emaar, The Economic City, said: “We are pleased to open a new chapter in our strong and long-standing relationship with KAUST through the signing of this landmark MoU. The comprehensive collaboration agenda will accelerate our goal for KAEC to be a leading lifestyle, leisure and industry hub contributing to the delivery of economic and social goals outlined in the Vision 2030 roadmap.”

Prof. Tony Chan, President of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, commented: “As organizations working toward shaping a better tomorrow for Saudi Arabia and its society, KAEC and KAUST hold tremendous potential to jointly innovate and create new possibilities. With this new MoU, we will harness our unique capabilities, experiences, and expertise to develop and enhance our offerings and services to meet the evolving needs of our communities. We extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation to EEC and KAEC for partnering with KAUST again to stride together into a brighter future for us all.”

Under the terms of the MoU, KAEC and KAUST will jointly explore new avenues to advance mobility to enhance physical connectivity between the two organizations. They will work closely with public and private entities to build a well-connected transportation network that includes road and water and drone taxis to provide easy access. This collaboration will build on the success of the sea taxi project they launched in October last year.

KAUST President Tony Chan and KAUST VP of Government Affairs Sulaiman Al-Thunayan welcoming the EEC delegation on campus.

The MoU will also allow KAEC to extend its modern family living offerings to the KAUST community by customizing its residential home products to suit the needs of faculties and students and their families. Taking into consideration the education needs of families choosing to reside in its vibrant communities, KAEC will explore ways to facilitate the enrolling of their children in The World Academy school located in KAEC. In addition to helping children get easy access to quality education, the MoU also allows The World Academy to attract talented and bright pupils.

With people being at the heart of their vision, services, and operations, human capital development is a main component of the new agreement. KAEC and KAUST will collaborate to build and implement synergies for talent development and growth. This will include employee exchange, recruiting KAUST alumni, internships for the university’s students, easier access to Prince Mohammed Bin Salman College of Business and Entrepreneurship (MBSC), and applied research programs for KAUST students, among others.

In another major step toward further driving growth and development, the organizations will explore the potential of future synergies, incentives, research and development (R&D), supply chain, and material importation. They will also collaborate on potential infrastructure and utility development, to provide a unified approach to the relevant authorities for approvals. The MoU also places a strong emphasis on the development of smart city digital solutions and services that would enable a more integrated and seamless user experience at the organizations, leveraging the capabilities of the KAUST Smart program.

Collaboration on research and development (R&D) is another key focus area for the strategic partnership. In order to support KAEC’s own projects and those of its industrial tenants, the MoU will seek to leverage KAUST’s R&D facilities, such as laboratories, and its capabilities in promising sectors, including energy, solar, biotech, building material, agriculture, coastal and marine, and data centers, among others.

The MoU will seek to leverage KAUST’s R&D facilities, such as laboratories, and its capabilities in promising sectors, including energy, solar, biotech and more.

In line with the growing momentum for entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia, KAEC and KAUST will collaborate to create opportunities for innovators and entrepreneurs in the Kingdom. Under the agreement, they will work on developing competitive value propositions for startups emerging from KAUST to establish companies in KAEC and provide an enabling environment for new companies to thrive. In addition, the MoU will enable the organizations to advance their social responsibility efforts by aiming to implement at least two joint CSR programs annually.