KFUPM jumps to 17th place in patents globally

May 22, 2013

According to the annual statistics issued by the US Patents and Trademarks Office, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) globally jumped to 17th place in patents for year 2012.. The Kingdom also jumped to 30th place globally. Aside from Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, the list was empty of other Arabic or Islamic countries. According to the US Patents and Trademarks Office, KFUPM was granted 57 patents, putting Saudi Arabia, for the first time in its history, in the list that gathers academic and industrial institutions that have achieved more than 40 patents in a year. There are only 27 global universities that achieved more than 40 patents, mostly from Northern America and Japan.

The classification placed Saudi Arabia in the 30th rank among the countries of the world in terms of the number of patents after achieving 170. Saudi Aramco also appeared in the list after achieving 56 patents. Aside from KFUPM and Saudi Aramco, the list was devoid of any other academic and industrial institutions in the Arabic and Islamic world.

Dr. Al-Sultan added that the university achieved a huge shift in the number of patents. The number jumped to more than 146 patents in less than five years—from two patents per year to 60 patents per year. "We are about to reach our goal of achieving 100 patents per year."

HE the KFUPM rector, Dr. Khaled Al-Sultan, mentioned that Saudi Arabia achieved important steps when implementing its plan for transferring and developing the technology five years ago. He also mentioned that Saudi Arabia succeeded in enhancing the invention culture and spreading it in its academic community among faculty members and students, and established an infrastructure capable of connecting the invention sources at the university with integrated innovation systems. "This success has manifested in a large number of patents over the past years, specifically between 2008 and 2012." he said.

Dr. Samir Al-Baiyat, Supervisor of the Transfer of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Project, mentioned that the university’s achieving 60 patents in the last year is an increase of 122 % in 2011. He said that this increase made KFUPM jump from the 55th rank to the 17th rank among universities worldwide. He indicated that KFUPM has 146 patents currently, pointing out that KFUPM has 70 % of patents of the Arabic universities registered in the US Patents and Trademarks Office compared to all other Arabic universities working on this field. He expected that the university would achieve more than 80 patents in 2013.

Dr. Iyad Al-Zahrana, Director of Innovation Center at KFUPM, pointed out that KFUPM has made great advancement and has preceded major academic and industrial institutions such as Airbus, the University of Massachusetts and New York University, etc. KFUPM has become one of the major players in producing global technology, and has achieved, along with its neighbor Saudi Aramco, two-thirds of all patents registered under the name of KSA.

Dr. Al-Zahrana also indicated that Entrepreneurship Center is currently qualifying a generation of students capable of taking an advantage of KFUPM patents and shifting them to products having knowledge-based technical contents in order to fulfill the requirements of the Knowledge-based economy shift in the Kingdom. The Center also implements educational and training programs in the fields of technical entrepreneurship dedicated to students in helping them develop the most suitable work plans for establishing companies producing technology.