Innovating for the Kingdom’s future

Attendees took part in roundtable discussions on a range of topics including innovative solutions to advance energy, agriculture, water, healthcare and education in the Kingdom.

​​​​​​​KAUST recently hosted the Innovation to Impact Roundtable, bringing together a cross section of academics and industry leaders from the United States and Saudi Arabia. Organized jointly by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEA) and KAUST, the gathering of thought leaders was aimed at developing collaboration opportunities between private, academic and government institutions in the KSA and USA.

"Today we are in a new era, focused on recasting the economy for the future," said the event's keynote speaker, H.E. Khalid Al Falih Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources and Chairman of the Board of Saudi Aramco.

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Watch more video and browse through images from the event here.

The Innovation to Impact Roundtable was a precursor to the Saudi-U.S. CEO Forum​ in Riyadh and​ President Donald Trump's visit to the Kingdom.

"The future of all advanced economies will depend upon the success of the younger generation's ability to evolve with the remarkable technological changes that are happening around us," said KAUST Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. James Calvin.

Roundtable session with (left to right) Dr. James Calvin, KAUST Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Michael Crow, Arizona State University President, and Dr. L. Rafael Reif, MIT President (Co-Chair)

A series of roundtables and panel discussions were held that focused on applying innovative solutions to advance the energy, agriculture, water, healthcare, education sectors as well as other areas.

"We want to push our people to be more creative, more innovative, and to come up with ideas to add value to the country," said H.E. Dr. Khalid S. Al-Sutan - Rector, King Fahd University for Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM).

H.E. Dr. Khalid S. Al-Sutan, Rector of King Fahd University for Petroleum and Minerals speaks to attendees via livestream during an interactive session in the KAUST Auditorium.​

An important aspect of these collaborative discussions, which involved industry leaders, academics, KAUST students and young entrepreneurs, is to leverage global institutional partnerships that energize local talent. This is important because, as event participant and KAUST M.S. student Mohammed Al Sobay said: "We only deliver impact once these innovations and creations are in people's hands."

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