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KFAS Story

Inspired by the great leaps human civilization was making in the 1960s, the newly-born State of Kuwait began its ascent to become one of the most remarkable models of strategically envisioned governance in the region.

After designing and implementing a strong constitutional structure and organizational framework, Kuwait quickly marched toward a sustainable renaissance based on its knowledge-driven economy. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, a resilient infrastructure was being built across the country, following the most successful practices in planning and management, which Kuwaitis were keen on studying and implementing, utilizing the best minds and talents in the Arab world at the time. With this fast pace, it was not long before Kuwait became the Gulf region’s beacon for civilization and advancement. These remarkable accomplishments demonstrated the vision of the late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who also believed that – rather than a rentier economy – sustainable development requires a knowledge-driven economy powered by highly competitive organizations and individuals in both the private and the public sectors. 

Going Live:

In 1976, it was finally time for the Amir’s efforts toward sustainable development and the private sector expansion in multiple fields to align. This visionary configuration recognized the need for a special institution that would dedicate its efforts and resources to spreading a thriving culture of science, technology and innovation (STI) for a sustainable Kuwait. Hence, an Amiri Decree was issued on December 12th of that year, announcing the establishment of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS). The decree defined the Foundation as a non-profit organization that aims to stimulate and encourage advancement of STI for the benefit of society, research and enterprise in the State of Kuwait.  The decree also embodied the Amir’s commitment to the institution, through the appointment of H.H. the State’s Amir as its Chairman. The charter also reflected local shareholding companies’ commitment to fund KFAS by contributing five percent of their net annual profits – reduced over the years to one percent –  to serve this purpose. KFAS’s unique structure allowed it to simultaneously expand its efforts in multiple strategic directions. With the goal of enabling and encouraging the transfer of knowledge to Kuwaiti society and enterprises, KFAS has built a remarkable record of strategic collaboration agreements with the world’s biggest universities and research institutions.

Bringing the World’s Knowledge to Kuwait:

Over the years, KFAS has been actively promoting STI and encouraging a culture of research and development within Kuwaiti society; a role that has become significantly more important with the dawn of the new century, wherein competitiveness and business challenges in the Kuwaiti market have reached new heights. The bond between KFAS and the private sector is demonstrated in its 2017-2021 strategic plan as well as in its activities, which offer professionals from all levels of Kuwait’s private sector companies exposure to the most recent and successful practices in their fields. This has been made possible by granting trainings and internships in collaboration with the world’s greatest academic institutions, such as the Harvard Executive Training Program and the KFAS Innovation Challenge, which broaden participants’ professional capabilities and sharpen the leadership skills of Kuwait’s future executives and decision makers. These collaborative international programs are regularly updated and strengthened to enhance the exchange of knowledge between Kuwait and the world’s most advanced countries, an ambition and a goal that has been pursued by H.H. the Kuwaiti Amir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. KFAS’ strategy also stresses the importance of research support programs, through which KFAS funds and sponsors fellowships and post-graduate studies, establishing a unique research network to support innovation and research capabilities in Kuwait and the Arab world. 

KFAS also focuses on developing real-time innovative and advanced solutions, addressing critical areas of national priority, such as energy and its resources; an issue that was addressed by H.H. the Amir in Kuwait’s vision for 2030.  In response to his directives to prioritize the use of renewable energy sources in an attempt to cover 15 percent of the local demand for electricity by 2030, KFAS has developed and implemented several projects to accelerate the development of renewable energy and its utilization in electricity generation. One of these projects was a pilot program to expand the use of roof-top solar panels, which successfully installed photovoltaic systems in 150 private homes and two cooperative societies. The remarkable success of this pilot project resulted in the enlistment of its second phase in the national development plan 2017-2020, aiming to supply, install and operate photovoltaic systems in 10 cooperatives and 1,500 residences.

Advancement on Every Level:

Striving to bridge the advancement gap between Kuwait and the world, KFAS has been extending its efforts in all directions to spread scientific culture within Kuwaiti society. With a very rich scientific calendar, KFAS sponsors and organizes multiple scientific conventions and workshops throughout the year. KFAS also releases periodic scientific publications addressing Kuwaiti and Arab youth. Furthermore, developing the academic qualifications for math and science teachers is another area in which KFAS invests, offering training courses on the latest applications from around the world in their fields of expertise.  The Foundation has also established and funded specialized centers of excellence to address national challenges through research and development. One of these is the Scientific Center, which helps interest children and youth in science and research. Another KFAS subsidiary is the Dasman Diabetes Institute, which plays an important role in the global fight against diabetes. There is also the Jaber Al-Ahmad Center for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, which is considered one of the world’s best excellence centers in molecular medicine, offering the latest technology to diagnose and treat disease in Kuwait and to reinforce the academic infrastructure for scientific research. KFAS has also dedicated the Sabah Al Ahmed Center for Giftedness and Creativity as an incubator for creative and outstanding students and graduates in Kuwait, as well as the KFAS Academy, which presents a customized, adaptive and self-paced learning experience to continue professional education for Arab candidates. Naturally, since young people are ultimately the nation’s future, KFAS has collaborated with the Ministry of Education to empower educational infrastructure with special talent academies – one for boys is already open – to develop the skills and capabilities of outstanding students.

In its 42-year journey, KFAS has harnessed and accelerated the knowledge and application of science, technology and innovation. In looking at the expanding scope of its programs and initiatives, KFAS has remained extremely determined to follow its pledge and commitment to make Kuwait better, stronger, and more prosperous.