Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visits Harvard, MIT in Boston

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited Harvard University and MIT in Boston, Massachusetts over the weekend to tour two of America’s premiere higher education campuses and talk about the importance of research and entrepreneurship to Vision 2030.

The visit to Boston is the second stop in a weeks long tour across the United States, his first official tour to the U.S. as Crown Prince.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Boston, Massachusetts.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Boston, Massachusetts.

Members of his delegation took part in the Innovation to Impact Forum at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as part of an ongoing collaboration among King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the General Authority of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEA), according to a press release.

The event featured a ceremony “where new collaborative agreements were signed between key forum participants from the academic and private sectors and inaugurated by the Crown Prince.”

According to a release, the agreements included:

·       A collaborative agreement between Saudi Aramco and MIT focused on global energy, climate, environmental sciences, and the transformation and sustainable development of the energy sector. This was signed by  Amin Nasser, CEO of Saudi Aramco and L. Rafael Reif, MIT President.

·       Extension of the Ibn Khaldun Fellowship program at MIT with the support of KACST. The program brings post-doctoral Saudi women scientists and engineers to MIT to conduct research and advance as leaders in their respective fields. This was signed by Dr. Turki Al Saud, President of KACST and L. Rafael Reif, MIT President.

·       A collaborative agreement between SABIC and MIT that focuses on design and testing of a novel reactor for combustion pyrolysis of methane. This was signed by L. Rafael Reif, MIT President and Dr. Fahad AlSherehy, VP of SABIC Innovations.

·       A collaborative agreement between KACST and MIT to further support the Center of Complex Engineering Systems to advance interdisciplinary research in complex engineering sytems such as air and rail transportation systems, urban development, and the improvement of electrical grid and water distribution networks. This was signed by Dr. Turki Al Saud, President of KACST and L. Rafael Reif, MIT President.

·       A collaborative agreement between KACST and Brigham and Women’s Hospital for the Center of Excellence for Biomedicine to focus on three key medical research projects. This was signed by Dr. Turki AlSaud, President of KACST and and Erinn Crane, Senior Agreement Advisor and Contracts Team Lead at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

·       A collaborative agreement between KAUST, Research Products Development Company RPDC, and Saudi VAX. This agreement will establish the Saudi Vaccine and Bio-manufacturing Center at KAUST.

According to the release, the event also incorporated an innovation gallery exhibit, with participants such as KAUST, KACST,  Saudi Aramco, SABIC and Boston Dynamics, showcasing technologies, innovations and technical collaborations with local entities. The Crown Prince and distinguished attendees toured the exhibit, and held an open dialogue with scientists and innovators, where they discussed the technologies, solutions and innovations that will help advance Vision 2030 emerging from Saudi talent in the Boston area. A blueprint for Saudi Arabia’s future, Vision 2030 is centered on three themes, which are reflected in the programmatic focuses at Innovation to Impact: a vibrant society, a thriving economy and an ambitious nation.

“The United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are prosperous countries, each with tremendous natural and human resources—yet neither of us can go it alone,” said the Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Khalid Al-Falih, in the keynote address. “The same holds true for even the most brilliant scientist or researcher, the most capable engineer or technician, and the most successful businessman or investor: we all need one another to grow, thrive and move forward toward a brighter future.”