King Abdullah University of Science and Technology's (KAUST) Global Research Partnership (GRP) announced on 29 April its grants to four interdisciplinary scientific research centers that are engaged in ground-breaking work in the areas of applied mathematics, molecular photovoltaics, nanomaterials and computational science. The Centers are at Cornell University, the University of Oxford, Stanford University, and Texas A&M University.
The GRP evaluated 41 initial applications submitted in late 2007. The four centers were selected from a pool of 17 finalist proposals. According to KAUST Interim Vice President for Research Mohamed Samaha, "Given the exceptionally high quality of all of the final proposals, it was a challenge to pick the ones that best fit KAUST's vision, mission, and current needs."
"Global partnerships and collaborations are essential for any research university that aspires to be world class and to generate science and technologies that will truly improve the lives of people everywhere," said Dr. Frank Press, former president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and advisor to the selection committee. "The GRP is KAUST's initial contribution to global scientific issues of particular importance to Saudi Arabia and the world."
The GRP grants will support four Centers:
- Cornell University's KAUST Center for Research and Education,
- University of Oxford's Centre for Collaborative Applied Mathematics (OCCAM),
- Stanford University's Center for Advanced Molecular Photovoltaics, and
- Texas A&M University's Institute for Applied Mathematics and Computational Science (IAMCS).
OCCAM, led by Principal Investigator John Ockendon and six Co-Principal Investigators, will lead to the development of mathematical solutions to real-world problems, as diverse as modelling fluid-structure and acoustic-structure interactions and petroleum reservoir simulation (with applications in industry), modelling of plant and crop growth in stressed environments and vegetation-dune interactions (with applications in agriculture and land use policy). OCCAM will also enable a broad range of the basic and applied research lines at KAUST. OCCAM and its classes, lectures, and local and international network will be accessible through this collaboration.
The grant to Oxford's new Centre for Collaborative Applied Mathematics announced by KAUST Global Research Partnership is of $25million.
The Oxford Mathematical Institute's renowned "Industrial Study Group" methodology - which provides a direct link between academia and the problems faced by commercial enterprises - will be transferred to KAUST between now and 2010.
Full press release available on the KAUST website.