SABIC participated in Innovation to Impact Forum 2018, co-hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST), on the campus of MIT.
At the forum, SABIC announced a new research agreement with Ahmed F Ghoniem, Ph.D., the Ronald C. Crane Professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Center for Energy and Propulsion Research at MIT. The research agreement is in the realm of combustion pyrolysis of methane and marks the fourth research agreement currently active between SABIC and MIT, whose relationship spans seven years.
“As a Saudi-based, global company with extensive operations in the United States, SABIC is pleased and proud to participate in the Innovation to Impact Forum,” said Yousef Al-Benyan, vice-chairman and CEO, SABIC. “SABIC plays a key role in the innovation ecosystem, working with value chains in numerous industries and segments to develop new materials and process technologies that power our customers’ ambitions, here in the US, at home in Saudi Arabia, or wherever we work with our customers globally,” Al-Benyan noted.
With the rising prominence of natural gas as a chemical feedstock globally, SABIC is interested in converting natural gas to high-valued olefins, and is partnering with MIT to test a novel pyrolysis reactor developed at SABIC for this purpose. The partnership will leverage the unique combustion characterisation expertise available at MIT and the broad experience in methane pyrolysis within SABIC. The project will demonstrate a novel reactor concept for combustion pyrolysis of methane.
Innovation to Impact was a one-day event, organised by a joint planning committee with representatives from Saudi Arabia and the US, bringing together thought leaders from government, academia, medical institutions, and industry from both Saudi and Boston-area organisations to (i) build stronger collaborations and relationships with the United States innovation ecosystem to advance the Kingdom’s Vision 2030; (ii) showcase some of the latest research and technologies that could have an application to the Saudi Vision 2030; and (iii) execute tangible collaboration agreements between Saudi Arabia and the United States, and discover ways to unlock potential commercial opportunities between the two countries.
More than 130 distinguished thought leaders, scientists, researchers and innovators, selected because of their influential leadership roles in their respective fields, shared ways to nurture an innovation ecosystem, bridging the gap between the lab and the marketplace.
The themes of research, technology development and business development were featured in the roundtable’s panel discussions on partnerships and collaborations between Saudi Arabia and the United States across the energy, digital, health and biosciences sectors.
Saudi Vision 2030 and its mission is a catalyst to rapidly expand the American-Saudi partnership to new frontiers in both countries, and the Innovation to Impact roundtable helped to enable that partnership with a specific focus on academic collaborations, youth and talent development, deep research and development, and a commitment to fostering entrepreneurship.