To propel the collaboration progress of science and technology between China and Saudi Arabia, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), signed a landmark strategic collaboration agreement to further research, intellectual exchange and talent development. The five-year agreement with a multi-million US dollar investment by SABIC, will cover joint research in the chemical and chemical engineering fields to develop advanced technologies and solutions, allowing SABIC to bring to market the results of collaborative research.
This marks the initiation and expansion of new and existing research relationships between SABIC and CAS affiliated institutes in China. In addition to research collaborations, the two organizations will work together to jointly sponsor an annual Scientific Forum on Frontiers of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. The first Scientific Forum was held on September 14-15, 2014 at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP).
The first Forum will establish the focus of collaborative scientific efforts between SABIC and CAS, applying innovation and sustainability principles to expand the utility of feedstock, harness the potential of nanotechnology, and explore advancements in composite materials, with the ultimate aim of bringing exponential benefits to industry and society at large. Whether it is lightweight technology that enables fuel efficiency, materials that enable safety while maintaining performance, solutions that are designed with sustainability in mind or innovative applications that perform more reliably over the long-term, SABIC is continually developing solutions from chemistry which enable our customers to achieve their commercial ambitions and solve critical industry problems.
In addition, the collaboration agreement also incubates local innovation to drive growth with the establishment of an annual SABIC-CAS Scholarship. It aims at stimulating scholarly pursuits by recognizing outstanding scientists, engineers and students from across China.
SABIC’s commitment to enabling growth in the industry will also take shape in the sponsorship of the Graduate Student Internship and Visiting Scholar Program. CAS graduate students and scientists can apply for or be invited to study and conduct research at the SABIC Corporate Research Institute at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology or at one of the SABIC Technology and Innovation Centers around the world.
Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC Vice Chairman and CEO, commented, “As the growth engine for SABIC in Asia, we continually explore new areas of transformation for China, in China, and with China. We are supporting reform by providing customers and markets with the solutions they need as China progresses along its unique path of development. Partnering with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the linchpin of China’s drive to explore and harness high technology and natural sciences, will elevate SABIC’s efforts in helping to make the ‘China Dream’ an enduring reality.”
Ding Zhongli, Vice President of CAS and President of UCAS, said, “We are pleased to be partnering with a leader in petrochemical and chemical technology innovation to combine our individual expertise to advance science and technology in China for the betterment of society and modern living. As we strive to build CAS into a world-class scientific research base for cultivating talent and promoting the development of China's high and new technology industries, we will continue to partner with international players like SABIC who demonstrate strong commitment and innovation in their sustainable solutions.”
Ernesto Occhiello, SABIC Executive Vice President, Technology and Innovation, explained how SABIC prizes innovation, ingenuity and collaboration as core drivers of its business, and more importantly, as the keys to solving some of the pressing problems facing society in areas such as air quality, clean water, food safety and security, energy efficiency and green industry growth.
“Scientific endeavor is the impetus to what we can accomplish in our industry – this is given due recognition in our strategic collaboration with a premier research institution like CAS. We are on a quest to spearhead technological advancement for material solutions, to explore sustainable ways to get more and better use out of natural resources in the form of existing feedstock supplies. We at SABIC are working to realize tangible ways to help people live better and more comfortably, today and tomorrow,” he added.
SABIC has already had several collaborations with CAS institutes. Last December, SABIC and DICP, which is part of CAS, established the SABIC-DICP Research Center for Advanced Chemicals Production Technology, a research center for advanced chemicals production technology to tackle scientific problems and develop new material solutions. Since its inception, the Center has launched two research projects in developing new routes to transform unconventional feedstock into basic chemicals. The Center will also recognize the two "SABIC Chair" Professors who have made outstanding contributions to the research accomplishments and academic reputation of DICP.