Expanding knowledge through collaboration

In addition to our in-house network we have a wide range of collaborative relationships with leading Saudi and international research universities to support us in achieving our strategic technology objectives.

We are also offering venture capital and technical support to energy and chemical start-ups aligned with achieving our business objectives.

Our investments in, and support for, a wide spectrum of research initiatives and alliances, at home and abroad, affirm our commitment to become a global leader in the development of energy-related technologies while also supporting the creation of a knowledge-based economy in the Kingdom.  

Academia and Industrial Collaboration

Collaborating with technology leaders in academia and industry enhances our competitiveness and expands our global technology footprint. We undertake a wide range of activities to transform ideas into sustainable solutions.

In 2016 we signed a Heads of Agreement with Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), a leading Saudi petrochemicals manufacturer, to conduct a feasibility study on the development of a fully integrated crude oil-to-chemicals complex to be located in Saudi Arabia.

The project aims to maximize chemical yields, transform and recycle byproducts, drive efficiencies of scale, optimize resources, and diversify the mix of petrochemical feedstock to enable new economic opportunities and to develop a world-class labor force. First phase of the joint study was completed in 2016. 

Research performed as part of our multifaceted interactions with the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), located adjacent to our headquarters, spans upstream and downstream focus areas, including enhanced oil recovery, reservoir quality prediction, near surface seismology, drilling optimization, sub-quality gas treatment, CO2 capture and utilization and the upgrading of heavier crude oils to lighter, more valuable grades. 

Our acquisition of Converge®, a polyol technology, will enable us to transform emissions into value.

Investing in energy

Our corporate venture capital subsidiary, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV), headquartered in Dhahran and with a presence in North America, Europe, and Asia, invests globally in startup and high-growth companies developing technologies of strategic importance to us. In 2016, SAEV made eight new direct investments and began a series of technology pilot projects.

A highlight of 2016 was the acquisition of Novomer’s Converge® polypropylene carbonate polyols product line. The acquisition of the technology, driven by our integrated downstream expansion strategy, will enable the conversion of waste CO2 into cleaner, high-value materials with significant performance, cost, and carbon footprint improvements.

We plan on manufacturing and marketing Converge® and its associated products through our Aramco Performance Materials subsidiary. The development of full-scale production facilities in Saudi Arabia will help spur further technological innovation in the Kingdom, new jobs, and domestic demand for our products through growth in the petrochemicals conversion sector.

Domestic alliances

To further boost the spirit of innovation in the Kingdom, we participate in the Saudi Arabia Advanced Research Alliance Agreement (SAARA), an alliance formed to promote intellectual property commercialization and technology development. Our participation in this initiative includes providing project funding and technology projects for potential development to SAARA’s commercial entity known as the Research Products Development Company (RPDC), a partnership with government, academia and research.

We believe that organizations such as RPDC will bring people together and help turn their ideas into real products, generating sustained economic development and helping spur growth in the domestic R&D sector.

As part of our greater efforts to localize service and material supply services, we collaborated with the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and the Saudi Technology Development ِand Investment Company (TAQNIA), to create the Saudi Company for Research Elements (SARE), which will provide a comprehensive and robust supply chain management service for all in-Kingdom research centers and universities.