THUWAL, KAUST, SAUDI ARABIA—King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) signed an historic Memorandum of Understanding on the University’s Thuwal campus. The MoU seeks to establish a long-term collaborative framework from which both parties can work towards delivering environmentally sustainable coastal development projects outlined by The Red Sea Project (TRSP).
“This collaboration will be a leading example of how best science, technology and fit-for-purpose research, can serve environmentally sustainable coastal development projects, not only in Saudi Arabia, but around the world,” said Tony Chan, President of KAUST.
“Our strengths as an institution align perfectly with the objectives outlined by TRSDC to develop high-end tourism projects that drive the economic diversification mapped by Saudi Vision 2030,” Chan added.
The MoU is the first step towards focused research into marine sustainability, waste management systems, energy conservation and sequestration systems. In particular, the MoU aims to help support TRSDC’s twin goals of environmental sustainability and exceptional guest experiences.
‘A Responsibility That We Take Very Seriously’
“At TRSDC we are guided by the belief that tourism development and regeneration of the environment do not have to be mutually exclusive,” said John Pagano, CEO of the Red Sea Development Company. “We have been entrusted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the guardianship of one of the world’s few remaining thriving barrier reef systems and of the habitats and ecosystems that surround it. It is a responsibility that we take very seriously, and we are proud to be working in collaboration with an academic partner of KAUST’s stature.”
“This partnership confirms the University’s reputation as a partner of choice for delivering on national priorities. It will allow us to play a key role in support of the Red Sea Project, to target the achievement of ambitious new standards for environmentally sustainable coastal development and marine ecosystem stewardship,” Donal Bradley, KAUST Vice President for Research said.
“At The Red Sea Project we have made some very ambitious sustainability commitments—to rely 100 percent on renewable energy; to be carbon neutral in our operations; and to improve conservation value across the destination by up to 30 percent in the next two decades,” said Dr. Rusty Brainard, Chief Environment Officer at The Red Sea Development Company. “If we are to deliver on these commitments, we need continually to advance our scientific understanding and incorporate ever-evolving technologies into all of our development decisions and long-term operations. That is why this Project is so enthralling and why we are delighted to have, in KAUST, a partner that shares our passion for what we are trying to accomplish.”