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18 Apr 2012

National Aquaculture Group, KAUST ink deal

[Arab News, April 2012] National Aquaculture Group and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) have signed a memorandum of understanding which establishes a framework to undertake a variety of joint applied research projects.

The areas for cooperation include shrimp genome research, water management, marine biology, saline agriculture, research on water borne diseases relevant to shrimp cultivation, impacts on red sea of long term aquaculture and agriculture aspects, biotechnology and environmental monitoring.


As per the memorandum, National Aquaculture Group and KAUST recognized the key focus areas for the preliminary set of projects.


KAUST will provide collaborative research opportunities by its respective research centers while National Aquaculture Group will provide and share their process experience in various fields coordinated through its business development division which will also oversee and manage the execution of the projects.


KAUST's Red Sea Research center is proposed to be the project partner for Environmental monitoring whilst; the biosaline initiatives are projected to be undertaken jointly by KAUST's Desert Agriculture Research Initiative (DARI).


National Aquaculture Group is committed to developing Saudi Arabia’s aquaculture industry. Hence, this agreement is in line with its aim to intensify association with academic and scientific institutions both at local and international levels.


The objective of National Aquaculture Group Managing Director Ahmad R. Al Ballaa is to look forward to successful accomplishment and application of the research findings through this establishment of cooperation with KAUST.


Professor Choon Fong Shih, president of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), said: "Today's agreement with National Aquaculture Group strongly complements our research agenda in sustainable food production, incorporating the holistic cycle of aquaculture and agriculture — led by globally renowned expert Professor Nina Fedoroff. This endeavor will also benefit significantly from the work of our Red Sea Research Center.”


The memorandum offers National Aquaculture Group and KAUST a joint platform to seek winning opportunities in the Saudi Arabia's scientific and technological development, economic prosperity and environmental wellbeing.