Science & Technology Parks: a new Era for Sustainable Technology-Based Development Presented at iep-sac

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Science & Technology Parks: A New Era for Sustainable Technology-Based Development Presented at IEP-SAC

  • By
  • Sadiq M. Sait
  • Member, Prince Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Science Park
  • King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals
  • KFUPM, Dhahran
  • 16 December, 2004

Presentation Outline

  • Part I: A Brief Overview of Science Parks
  • Part II: An Example of a Science Park at a University in Saudi Arabia
  • Part III: Progress and Status

Mission of the University

  • A Balance between three key elements:
  • Generation of new knowledge.
  • Passing on this knowledge to future generations.
  • Serving the needs of industry (business) and the community.

Methods for Supporting Knowledge-Based Business

  • Science Cities
  • Technopolis
  • High Technology Industrial Parks
  • Science & Research Parks
  • Business Incubators

What is an Incubator?

  • An incubator is for individuals who are eager to start companies
  • It provides financial, logistic, and intellectual support for a fixed period
  • Provides incubation to new entrepreneurs through the utilization of University resources (and sometimes funds from governments and agencies)

What Are Science Parks?

  • A property-based initiative which:
    • Has operational links with universities and research centers
    • Is designed to encourage knowledge-based industries
    • Has an element of technology transfer and job opportunities
    • Different from a Research Institute

Benefits from the Park

  • Development of the region, creation of wealth and employment opportunities for the Kingdom
  • Enhancement of University skill at industry collaboration
  • Tenant-University associations are built
  • Commercialization of University research

International Associations: Science Parks

  • IASP: Int’l Association of Science Parks, Spain
  • UKSPA: UK Science Park Association, UK
  • AURP: Association of University Research Parks, USA
  • APSTI: Associatione Parchi Scientifici E Technologici Italiano, Italy
  • TEKEL: Suomen Teknologiakeskusten Litto, Finland

Major International Science Parks

  • Number of science parks in the world is more than 1,000
  • Most Science Parks are linked with Universities
  • Major Science Parks are found in:
    • USA, UK, Canada, Russia, France, Finland
    • Japan, Hong Kong, China, Korea
    • Malaysia, Iran
    • Others

Major Science Parks in Muslim World

  • Bahrain: 1
  • Iran: 13
  • Kuwait: 1
  • Malaysia: 4
  • Morocco: 3
  • Nigeria: 1
  • Oman: 1
  • Saudi Arabia: 3
  • Tunis: 2
  • Turkey: 4
  • UAE: 3

Major Science Parks in GCC Region

  • Saudi Arabia: Prince Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Science Park, KFUPM, Dhahran
  • Kuwait: HRD Int’l Enterprise Center
  • UAE: Techno Park, Dubai
  • Oman: Knowledge Oasis Muscat
  • Bahrain: Bahrain Technology Park
  • Qatar: Science & Technology Park at Qatar Foundation Education City

Prince Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Science Park

  • The Vision
  • The Mission
  • Goals/Objectives
  • PASP Site
  • Benefits to KFUPM
  • Benefits to Tenants
  • Success Factors


  • To make a significant contribution to the wealth & welfare of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the development of knowledge-based companies
  • Keywords: Closer ties and enduring links between academia and industry


  • To develop a financially self-sustaining entity at KFUPM
  • Development of an entrepreneurial culture
  • Provision of space in the incubator and science park, and creation of self-sustaining facilities


  • Commercialization of University research
  • Providing incubator programs to young Saudis, and promoting emerging small-businesses
  • Utilizing the Kingdom’s industrial and market strengths
  • Generating employment opportunities in knowledge-based businesses

Modes of Participation in Science Park

  • Single-unit building
  • Multi-tenant building
  • Incubator building


Chronology of Events

  • KFUPM Science Park Project Committee Formed: 19/05/2002
  • Conceptual Plan Prepared: 15/09/2002
  • Foundation Stone by HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz: 20/10/2002
  • UNESCO Experts Visit to KFUPM: 22/02/2003
  • Project Awarded for Layout/Infrastructure Planning: 09/04/2003
  • Schlumberger Construction started: 01/10/2003
  • PASP company being formed: Now

What is in there for KFUPM?

  • Joint research projects
  • Sharing of university laboratories
  • Custom-designed courses for tenants
  • Tenant staff in graduate programs
  • Advice from tenants (companies) on course design
  • Adjunct appointments of industry experts in the University

KFUPM Research Strengths?

Other Benefits to KFUPM

  • Close links between tenants and the University community
  • Attraction of high-quality faculty and researchers
  • Multinational scientists in PASP will keep the University abreast of the latest trends and developments
  • Employment opportunities for students (during study and upon graduation)

Benefits to Tenant Firms

  • Tenant companies can have a significant point of presence in the region
  • Availability of a skilled work-force pool from the student body
  • Opportunity for commercial deployment of University’s intellectual property
  • Access to the University’s educational programs

KFUPM Pilot and Demonstration Plants

KFUPM Laboratories

Other Joint Activities

  • Large companies may choose to contract their research work to the University
  • Companies may donate equipment and share expertise, etc.
  • Senior staff of tenant companies may serve on University advisory committees
  • Tenants may offer scholarships to postgraduate students

Critical Success Factors

    • Planning, leadership, commitment, & involvement of everyone, for the effective implementation of the plan
    • Close interaction between the tenant firms and the University
    • A clear management structure, with a Park Manager appointed at an early stage
    • Preference to companies in the areas of general strength of the University

Part III:Progress/Status

  • What to Expect?
  • Major Companies Involved in KFUPM
  • Current and potential tenants of PASP

What to Expect?

  • University will be surrounded by some of the world’s leading technology companies
  • Industry participation in academia
  • The University will build on its current strengths due to proximity with industry
  • Research & teaching programs will concentrate on modern high-technology

Major Companies Collaborating with KFUPM

  • Saudi Aramco
  • Schlumberger, USA
  • Japan Cooperation Center Petroleum
  • Ciba, Switzerland
  • Others

International Companies in PASP

  • Schlumberger (Construction in progress)
  • CIBA Specialty Chemicals, Switzerland
  • Japan Cooperation Council for Petroleum
  • Letters of Intent received:
    • Idemitsu Kosan Ltd., Japan
    • Cytec, The Netherlands
    • WIPRO, India
    • Institute Francais du Petrole (IFP), France
    • Membrana, Germany
    • DevCorp Int’l, Bahrain

Proposal for Funding & Finance

  • Given its ideal location and the explicit returns for the industry, the PASP-KFUPM Company is being formed with participation from:
    • KFUPM
    • Private Investments (Venture Capital)
    • Saudi major companies (Saudi Aramco, SABIC, possibly others)
  • The University would be responsible for establishment of standards for leasing, while the operation, maintenance and construction would be the responsibility of the PASP-KFUPM Company

Governance & Management

  • For effective management and governance, PASP-KFUPM Company will be formed based on the collaboration between three major parties:
    • University: knowledge and resources
    • Industry: financing and R&D
    • Government: regulations and incentives
  • The Park will be managed as a commercial enterprise by a Park Manager, who heads the management team, and will be overseen by the Board of Directors of PASP-KFUPM.


  • PASP is a strong statement of KFUPM’s determination to maintain its high standards.
  • PASP initiative will couple the University with industry, and will create an environment with vast potential for joint technological R&D.
  • With the establishment of PASP, KFUPM moves forward with a far-reaching initiative that will be a dynamic catalyst for technological development.


  • British Council
  • IASP


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