Dubai – MENA Herald: The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) has signed an agreement with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) to expand its facilities at the KAUST Research & Technology Park with the construction of a new Dow Middle East Research and Development (R&D) Center.

“This expansion demonstrates Dow’s strategic commitment to innovation by strengthening R&D to better serve our customers and support growth in the region,” said President of Dow India, Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Markus Wildi. “It underscores our mutual objectives to deliver science-based solutions for some of the world’s biggest challenges, especially those related to water, energy, and infrastructure.”

Construction of the 13,500-square-meter R&D facility, designed to meet LEED silver certification requirements, will be led by KAUST and begin by the end of 2015. Dow’s R&D facilities currently on the KAUST campus will relocate to the new building. The new facility will have capacity for up to 75 Dow R&D employees.

The new Middle East R&D Center will house advanced laboratories for the research of water treatment as well as expanded capabilities in oil and gas downstream and upstream markets, building and construction, and coatings driven by growth opportunities in the Middle East and other emerging geographies. With the capability to extend into additional Dow technologies, the facility will support the geographic growth of Dow businesses.

“Dow has been a part of KAUST’s journey from the very beginning,” said KAUST President, Jean-Lou Chameau. “The Dow Middle East R&D Center at KAUST represents the continuing commitment on Dow’s part to the vision of KAUST to serve as a catalyst in transforming Saudi Arabia into a knowledge economy. This is the latest in a series of collaborative initiatives to invest in local talent and develop solutions for regional and global impact. Partnerships with industry are core to the KAUST mission and help integrate the university’s goal-oriented research into the national economy.”

Dow is a founding member of the KAUST Industrial Collaboration Program, which aims to commercialize research into practical applications. As part of the collaboration agreement with KAUST that was initiated in 2009, Dow has implemented multiple programs investing in KAUST students and faculty.