Center Industry Affiliates Program (CIAP) Partners  



KAUST was built with the mission of having strong industry-academic collaboration to transform Saudi Arabia into a more innovative, knowledge-based economy. To create and develop technologies in benefitting the kingdom and beyond. Industry is invited to join KAUST in fulfilling its mission in two ways—as a partner at the university level or at the research center level (CIAP) Center Industry Affiliates Program to link our research with selected groups from industry.



Government and Industry Partners



Memoranda of Understanding (MOU)  



Since its inception, the WDRC has been very active to establish an in-kingdom, regional (GCC/MENA), and global network of stakeholders (e.g. government, industry, and academia). Either directly or through KAUST, the WDRC has entered several important memoranda of understanding with the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC, KSA), the National Water Company (NWC, KSA), the Korean Institute of Science and Technology (KIST, Korea), the Public Utilities Board (PUB, Singapore) and the Saudi Geologic Survey (SGS, KSA). In the last year this has been expanded to include the Middle East Desalination Research Center (MEDRC, Oman), the Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT, Spain), the Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT, Korea), the Institut de la Filtration et des Techniques Séparatives (IFTS, France), and the City University of Hong Kong (CityU, Hong Kong). In addition to these MoU’s we are continuously assessing and discussing joint activities and collaboration with other key universities and research institutes that are globally recognized and active in the areas as defined by the Center strategic research plan.





KAUST and ACWA Power sign strategic green desalination project agreements

21 November, 2022

On Wednesday, November 9, 2022: KAUST today signed four strategic project agreements with ACWA Power, a leading Saudi developer, investor, and operator of power generation, water desalination and green hydrogen plants worldwide. 

This research collaboration aims to drive greener desalination initiatives towards tangible impact both in Saudi Arabia and internationally; contributing to Saudi Vision 2030 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The signing ceremony, which took place in KAUST, highlights the long-term research and innovation partnership between academia and industry in Saudi Arabia. Such collaborations will continue to be crucial in enabling the Kingdom to remain at the forefront of international scientific advances and maintain its position as a world leader in desalinated water production.
KAUST and ACWA Power have a mutual interest in optimising seawater desalination processes and better monitoring/predicting desalination plant operations through artificial intelligence and modeling. With presence in 13 countries, ACWA Power is one of the world's leading independent developers, investors, and operators of power generation and desalinated water production plants.

“This collaboration with ACWA Power will significantly impact the desalination sector. Our partnership will help the translation of academic research into demonstrable impact, leading to greener desalination at lower cost, contributing to the Kingdom's water-secure future.“ said Prof. Johannes Vrouwenvelder, Director of the Water Desalination and Reuse Center at KAUST.


From left to right: Ratul Das (ACWA Power), Prof. Cristian Picioreanu (WDRC), Erwan Arzel (ORA), Thomas Altmann (ACWA Power), Prof. Johannes Vrouwenvelder (WDRC Director), Prof. Noreddine Ghaffour (WDRC), Victor Otoadese (WDRC)

"Innovation is very much in the heart of our work; it brings us forward; it’s the future. With KAUST, we have found a research partner who is adding value to our business, and our work is very complimentary. The projects will be a demonstrate the potential of academia and business working in tandem to solve real world challenges of bringing fresh water through desalination to both communities and industries alike. We hope that our collaboration will directly result in the implementation of research-backed projects that deliver impact," said Thomas Altmann, Executive Vice President of Innovation and New Technology, ACWA Power.

News stories:

Saudi Gazette article | Okaz article

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