Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

KFUPM has always been known for its leading role in innovation, patenting, and creativity. The university was ranked 25th in the world among all universities granted patents by USPTO for 2021. See Patent registration: Four Saudi universities among top 100 in the world.

Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2021.

In addition to this, KFUPM was listed by Clarivate on the Innovators to watch 2021.

Most importantly, KFUPM believes that the primary aim of research and innovation is to improve the human condition. Therefore, it has recently restructured all its research programs to support this goal. A corollary of this aim is to promote the research market. In other words, research can be translated into products that benefit humanity rather than just research-for-papers, which primarily benefit the researchers’ careers only. As a result of this new emphasis several new startups were created.

KFUPM Entrepreneurship Institute (KFUPM EI), supports students and local creators. EI provides mentoring and assistance to creators to establish their startups.


The university believes in revitalizing the role of entrepreneurship in the research system, by rejuvenating the spirit of entrepreneurship and developing enablers for inventors, whether faculty, students, or even outsiders. This includes the DTV (Dhahran Techno-Valley) Startup Challenge, which attracted 166 ideas in the year 2020. The program has four phases:

  1. Campaign.
  2. Boot camp to educate entrepreneurs on how to set up their startup companies.
  3. Incubation period with access to funding, mentoring, and services.
  4. Going to the market.

The objective is to increase the number of startups in DTV thereby, invariably enhancing the transition of the economy of the Kingdom. Some examples of these startup ideas are in key areas such as IR4.0, chemicals, manufacturing, oil and gas, and FinTech. EI Startups Success Stories