Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) was ranked the “Top Jordanian University” for 2016-2017, according to the Times Higher Education World University Ranking. Omar Al-Jarrah, president of JUST, tells us about his university’s leading role in research and innovation.
How does JUST’s research impact industry?
JUST is ranked first in Jordan for research impact from our academic publications, according to Scopus. In 2012, we opened our Center for Innovative Projects, which focuses on how to commercialize research by transforming studies into new products or services. His Majesty King Abdullah II supported JUST to develop this center by issuing a fund worth 3.5 million JD.
What successes can your innovation center show?
At the end of 2016, one of the start-ups created at our center received Jordan’s first international patent for an invention that will limit the emission of toxic gases from the manufacturing process. Moreover, we have five other patents in areas such as robotics, nanotechnology, pharmaceutical sciences and engineering.
How will JUST be impacted by increased government research spending?
JUST harvests the majority of government research funding. For example, our graduates recently received 15 out of 18 government scholarships in research. Indeed, our distingui-shed faculty is also accustomed to receiving the largest amount of government funding.
How do international agreements reflect your goals?
JUST has over 250 agreements and partnerships with higher education institutions and research centers representing 53 countries. In addition, we are currently looking for strategic partnerships, having just signed an MoU with Purdue University in the US, which will support us to build a viral disease detection and control center for the region, focusing on studies such as SARS and MERS. For student mobility, we are a part of the EU’s Erasmus+ Exchange program, and we have an exchange agreement with Mohammed bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences. Our international affairs office is small, but we are now expanding, and a recent MoU with Canada’s Concordia University will help us with this expansion.