Two of Khalifa University’s constituent universities – the Masdar Institute (MI) and the Petroleum Institute (PI) – continue their legacy of specialized research leadership at Khalifa University in the form of research institutes. Khalifa University’s hydrocarbon production and exploration focused research centers are grouped under PI, while KU’s sustainability-focused research centers are primarily grouped under MI. As research institutes they serve as interdisciplinary research units focused on long-term strategic priorities, which engages a critical mass of faculty, and connect fundamental research with practical application through their partnerships with local and international organizations like ADNOC and the energy company Masdar.
The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MI) was established in 2007 in Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as an independent non-profit graduate level research university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technology. The Institute has served to develop the intellectual and human capital of relevance to the UAE’s knowledge economy transformation through its high quality academics and research of relevance to local, regional and global needs.
In February 2017 MI merged with the Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research (KUSTAR), and the Petroleum Institute (PI), to produce one world-class, research-intensive institution, to develop world leaders and critical thinkers in applied science and engineering, called the Khalifa University of Science and Technology (KU).
The Petroleum Institute University and Research Center (PI), as it was initially known, was established in 2001 to support the oil and gas industry of Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE. To achieve that goal, it developed and offered undergraduate and graduate engineering and research programs in areas of significance to the oil, gas and broader energy industries.
In 2006 the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 was announced, which provided the Petroleum Institute with further strategic direction for its academic and research activities. This resulted in a renewed mandate to support the development of the emirate’s human capital and contribute to Abu Dhabi’s strategic economic sectors, sustainable economic growth and economic diversification. The institute’s major affiliate has been the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), and it also partnered closely with BP, Japan Oil Development Company, Shell, and Total.