kaust living lab

Kaust Living Lab

A City Without Boundaries On Experimentation

KAUST is a unique campus with unique opportunities. It’s a city without boundaries on experimentation, at the intersection of land and sea, with a culture that is expanding the frontiers of innovation.

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As a living lab, KAUST researches, funds, tests, and implements in-house sustainable technologies while welcoming external collaborators and other stakeholders to participate in this rich ecosystem.

kaust smart


KAUST Smart combines our community’s deep intellectual curiosity with the unique opportunity our standalone city-campus provides to encourage residents, workers, and visitors to imagine, play, explore, experiment, and create together.

KAUST takes advantage of the immersive, user-centric experience, applying and integrating technologies with the aim of delivering easy, intuitive experiences. The campus is the perfect place to test sustainable and smart city concepts quickly and in a real-life, yet controlled, environment before they are released to the world—for impact far beyond our walls.

  • Idea generation and collection for enhanced digital experiences that makes KAUST (the university and city) unique. Ideas can span the various business functions such as mobility, retail, citizen and government engagement, building management, security, and logistics.
  • Evaluation of ideas, concepts, and technologies through design thinking workshops and journey mapping. Pilots and proof of concepts will be carried out to test ideas and to generate feedback.
  • Partnerships and engagement with key industry players, technology vendors, and other universities to support the co-development and co-design of concepts and ideas.
  • Collection of data and metrics that supports the development of insight and intellectual property that can enhance research and study of urban design, smart cities, societies, sustainability, and digital trends.
  • Dining experience. Innovating dining that empowers patrons to eat more sustainably with tools that include mobile apps and kiosks, complemented by physical and operational modifications to dining facilities.
  • Mobile apps and connected experiences. Connecting and integrating digital activities with the KAUSTCentral app for a better, more efficient digital and real-life experience. Examples include
    requesting taxis and on-demand buses, and arranging home and office deliveries.
  • Assessing micro-mobility ideas. Conducted jointly with Community Life, these have included experience evaluations, arranging last-mile connectivity, app integration, and authorization with digital IDs.
  • Connect the unconnected. Bridging the digital divide by evaluating new technologies that allow remote and disadvantaged towns to connect digitally through affordable high-speed internet.


Sustainable, Smart Living

The Smart House is a joint venture between KAUST Smart, Facilities Management, Community Life and several other teams at KAUST to design and construct a livable smart home that showcases advanced domestic solutions that enhance home living.

These smart solutions include renewable energy integration, wastewater reuse, accessible living spaces, digital integration, drinking water production, and integration with other experiences such as delivery using drones and autonomous vehicles. By testing sustainable technologies in a live environment, Smart House will also collect data and test the operational feasibility of different pilot technologies.

Sustainable, Smart Living
Sustainable, Smart Living
Sustainable, Smart Living
Sustainable, Smart Living
delivering the future


KAUST Smart is evaluating on-campus delivery of goods and packages using drones and electric autonomous vehicles, both of which may significantly reduce costs, traffic loads, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

accelerating driverless mobility
accelerating driverless mobility


What will mobility look like in tomorrow’s cities? We are heading toward the answers by testing and implementing innovative commuting experiences, including autonomous self-driving shuttles and bus stops that combine sustainability, accessibility, inclusivity, and smart technology.