KAIST President Sung-Chul Shin and Khalifa University (KU) Acting President Arif Al Hammadi met on April 8 to launch the KAIST-KU Joint Research Center (KAIST-KU JRC) at the KU Abu Dhabi Campus. The center will enhance KAIST’s close relationship with KU by providing a space for the universities to work together on research projects in the fields of smart health and smart transportation.
KAIST has a well-established history of exporting tertiary education services to the UAE. In 2010, KAIST signed a partnership agreement with one of KU’s subsidiaries, the Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research (KUSTAR), which established the KAIST-KUSTAR Institute of Education. This institute has directed the modernization of KUSTAR curricula. According to Chosun Media, the institute has facilitated the provision of “university administration, research, and education know-how” from KAIST to KUSTAR. Since the partnership agreement was ratified, KAIST and KU have carried out over 200 joint research projects in various fields, and the new KAIST-KU JRC will allow the number of collaborative projects to grow.
At the core of the new center is the task of “fostering human capital during the Fourth Industrial Revolution”. Man-Sung Yim, the dean of the KUSTAR-KAIST Institute of Education, was very optimistic about the new center, stating, “[KAIST and KU] will play a bridging role in achieving sustainable development of Korea and the UAE by strengthening cooperation in the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ to foster future growth engines.” Yim’s sentiments were mirrored in Acting President Al Hammadi’s statement to the KAIST PR office, in which he said, “The outcome of [the KAIST-KU JRC] research projects will establish the status of both institutions as champions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, bringing benefits to our communities.”