GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Dhahran Techno Valley – Strategic Venue for Knowledge Creation and Commercialized technologies
Paper Proposal Text :
The Dhahran Techno Valley (DTV) is a major undertaking initiated by King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in 2006. It is envisioned to provide infrastructure for industrial R&D and become MENA’s most prestigious, industrial research & development and technology nucleus.
Over the past 50 years KFUPM has evolved to become a leading educational and research institution and through the creation of DTV ecosystem, will serve to play a significant role in the growth of knowledge based economy in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In the year 2014, KFUPM enrolled more than 9000 students supported by an academic strength of nearly 1000 faculty members. To complement the high-level educational programmes, the research agenda has advanced to include the Research Institute and Centers of Research Excellence across disciplines including Engineering, Petroleum & Minerals, Corrosion, Petrochemicals, Nano Technology and Renewable Energy.
The establishment of Dhahran Techno Valley, on the doorstep of KFUPM and in close proximity to Saudi Aramco, has created an integrated ecosystem to drive the knowledge economy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). This compelling value proposition attracted a host of multinational companies committed to R&D and innovation, with a focus on Energy, to invest in the area to respond to local and global requirements driving this sector.
The key objectives of the DTV Ecosystem are:
1. Build community for technology development and technology transfer
2. Strengthen links between KFUPM and industry
3. Align technology and R&D agendas of KFUPM, science park tenants and industry players
4. Unlock commercial value of intellectual property
KFUPM and its strategic partner, Saudi Aramco, are laying a basis for new petroleum based techno-economic model which has progressed with significant velocity to this point with key infrastructure projects from FDI to transform the landscape and initiate complimentary working between the stakeholders.

Paper for Presentation
For participating effectively in national efforts to diversify KSA’s economic base, KFUPM undertook - in 2006 - an initiative for establishing an innovation hub at its campus. With a vision that this hub turns one day into a role model for 360o incubating environment for technology development/deployment, KFUPM developed stimulating conditions for the growth of a self-sustaining ecosystem.
The broader prospective is the ecosystem incarnation through creation of two interlinked techno and economic zones, where ultimately returns of the later replenish the original R&D investments leading to balanced equilibrium within the ecosystem. The main push for innovation in this ecosystem is expected to come from R&D activities taking place within DTV in collaboration with KFUPM. It is deemed that DTV emphasis on developing petroleum technological businesses will be the major strength of this ecosystem. The DTV technology focus is considered natural extension to the technological concentration of KFUPM, since its origination in 1963.
Strategically located at KFUPM campus within biking distance from Saudi Aramco headquarters and one hour drive from the petrochemical clusters in Jubail, DTV occupies 770,000 square meters of land area. The DTV is set up to be an environment for generating and protecting intellectual property and providing access to skills/expertise, advanced R&D facilities and capital needed to develop technologies up to commercial scale for deployment both locally and for exportation worldwide. It provides the R&D partners (KFUPM, Saudi Aramco and DTV Tenants) collaborative research opportunities and an environment for developing, validating, and deploying new technologies. Between 2006 and 2013, several global technology corporations established their R&D centers at DTV. Among these, the largest petroleum upstream service providers for reservoir exploration, development and production: Schlumberger, Halliburton, Weatherford and Baker Hughes. Automation, control, testing and measurement industrial corporations also joined DTV. These include: Yokogawa, Emerson, GE, Honeywell (and its subsidiary UOP), Invensys and ROSEN. ARGAS, specialized geo-science/physics company recently joined DTV. Aminatit, Sipchem and Ma’aden are national industries that have R&D presence in DTV. The achievement of KFUPM and its strategic partner – Saudi Aramco – in laying a basis for new petroleum based techno-economic model through attracting R&D-related FDIs reveals an economical paradigm shift and that KSA is dynamically responding to the transformation of global R&D environment.

Future developments
Phase 1 of the DTV Science Park, with a focus on upstream Oil and Gas sector companies, is near to full occupancy with the majority of companies having facilities established and people in positions to drive their R&D agendas. Phase 1 will continue to progress to include administration centers and facilities for supporting activities required in this type of Science Park.
The diversity of industrial corporations at DTV is strong precursor that creative synergies will develop across spectrum of energy related technological applications. For enhancing DTV value chain, Phases 2 & 3 of DTV are planned to encompass R&D centers of mainly downstream industries, enabling technology industries (advanced computing, nano applications and advanced materials) in addition to industries for water management and the renewables.
The diversified combination of industrial R&D capabilities in the three DTV phases will provide opportunity for KSA to build new industries in applications advocated at strategic levels. Such as renewable energies, energy efficiency, clean water, and advanced materials around areas where competitive advantages exist or could be built in the current downstream industries that relied historically on KSA’s abundance of natural resources.
A major target for the ecosystem is the provision of facilities and expertise for the coordination to transform ideas from collaboration R&D outcomes with supporting product design, engineering and development, scale-up and prototyping and importantly investment for promising commercially viable technologies.
To set the stage for this to happen, KFUPM developed a system and processes that advance the R&D outcomes, in readiness for translation into technology–based products, businesses and services. KFUPM system for innovation, entrepreneurship and technology enterprising is comprised of: a university sector for Technology Transfer, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (TTIE) and a subsidiary known as Dhahran Techno-Valley Company (DTVC). The TTIE includes an Innovation Center (acting as KFUPM Intellectual Assets and Technology Licensing Office), Entrepreneurship Institute, Technology Advancement and Prototyping Center and an Industry-Liaison Office. DTVC, which is wholly owned by KFUPM, has been established to drive and enable the ecosystem to thrive with particular focus placed on facilitating and enabling the stakeholders to communicate and work together effectively. It will have core roles in the management of the Science Park properties and facilities and identify business development opportunities, but the main thrust of DTVC activity will be aligned with KFUPM, Saudi Aramco and the Science Park tenants in the commercialization of IP and new technologies. This includes the investment in technology development and early stage commercialization in readiness for future commercialization via licensing and/or technology start-ups.