(MENAFN - Arab News) The Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) and the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) are exploring new avenues for future collaborative research in multidisciplinary fields of technology and innovation and knowledge development.
SABIC extends an annual grant of SR 3.95 million to the university to carry out research, particularly in the fields of petrochemicals, material engineering and corrosion control.
A SABIC delegation, led by Ernesto Occhiello, executive vice president for technology and innovation, visited KFUPM and met with the senior leadership of the university, led by Rector Khalid Al-Sultan, to discuss potential areas for future scientific cooperation.
Occhiello said that out of the SR 3.95 million funding to the university, SR 2 million is earmarked for the SABIC Chair for Corrosion and SR 1.95 million for grants and research projects.
"We see our support as enabling the university to boost its research capacity, and its faculty researchers to earnestly pursue their projects," said Occhiello.
SABIC has been a committed supporter of scientific research at Saudi universities. The research areas for support were initially drawn from the company's immediate areas of interest, including chemicals and petrochemicals, metallurgy, fertilizers, polymers and catalysts. The scope was later widened to include topics such as pollution control and industrial waste disposal.
The company also encourages research on projects related to its business, conducted by individual researchers at Saudi universities.
Occhiello said that the company's objective is in large part to stimulate research and strengthen education in science and technology.
"We will continue this approach and foster close cooperation with universities and research centers through grants and funding programs. We also seek to advance science and technology capabilities of faculty members by facilitating their participation in conferences and scientific forums," he said.
SABIC has also been playing a supportive role in patent registration and in the establishment and financing of scientific chairs at universities to boost innovation and overall knowledge-based advancement in the Kingdom, said Occhiello.