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Nalco Announces Agreement with New University in Saudi Arabia

Nalco and KAUST members at agreement ceremonyNalco announced its commitment to be a founding member of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology’s (KAUST) Industrial Collaboration Program (KICP). Nalco Chairman and CEO Erik Fyrwald and KAUST president Prof. Choon Fong Shih, signed an agreement in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, that will create opportunities for cooperation between KAUST and Nalco. KAUST is a newly opened graduate-level research university designed to promote science and technology in Saudi Arabia and throughout the region.

“Our customers rely on Nalco to develop innovative technologies to help them save water and energy and protect air quality,” said Fyrwald. “The Middle East is a key growth market for Nalco and we believe supporting KCIP will enable us to be even more successful in the region.”

“Here at KAUST we have the broad themes of energy, water, food and air and you cover all of it,” said Prof. Shih. “King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and KAUST are interested in practical applications and that’s why our partnership with Nalco is so important to us – bringing innovative enterprises together with economic development.”

Water scarcity is a major issue in the Middle East, one of the most arid regions of the world, and it is expected to become a growing global problem in the years ahead.

“Nalco has been helping use our most precious resource more effectively since our founding more than 80 years ago,” said David Flitman, Nalco Senior Executive Vice President and President, Water and Process Services. “Our ability to find new ways to improve water technologies will only be enhanced by cooperating with a new, premiere research institution like KAUST.”

Designed to maximize the effectiveness of industrial collaboration within the Kingdom and internationally by engaging key partners, KICP's goal is to translate knowledge into economic growth and job creation.

“We are firm believers in the concept of Open Innovation,” said Ramesh. “We are successfully partnering with universities, government agencies, suppliers and customers around the world to combine the extensive intellectual talent available outside Nalco with the hundreds of researchers at our global R&D centers to solve customer problems. I am excited about the opportunities our partnership with KAUST will provide in advancing important environmental technologies such as water reuse, membranes and desalination.”

KICP funds are used to finance KICP initiatives, to support educational outreach to the University community and others in the region, and to support strategic studies and collaboration with other academic resources in Saudi Arabia. KAUST is acting as a significant investor by developing infrastructure and providing substantial leverage potential to industry. To support the creation of new businesses while drawing on best standards, the University has established a Technology Transfer Office, an Innovation Cluster and a Research Park.