On 13 and14 November 2019, in the presence of His Excellency Dr. Khalid Al Sultan President of the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy and Dr. Sahel N. Abduljawad, Rector of King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, both parties organized the annual review work for the KFUPM-KACARE cooperation program that aims to enhance the quality of science, technology, education, and industrial development in the Kingdom.
The event was held at the innovation building in Dhahran Techno Valley and was attended by a number of researchers, faculty and graduate students. During the event, research projects implemented by KFUPM research teams and funded by KACARE were presented, and the ways to develop future cooperation and research work between the University and the City were discussed.
The cooperation between the University and the City during the first year yields the inclusion of (15) professors in the research fellowship program, (18) graduate students in the graduate student funding program, and (7) researchers in the post-doctoral fellowship program. Moreover, (20) patents were registered and (49) research papers were published.
Dr. Abdeljawad said that cooperation started from the early stages of the city's development, and two teams in the fields of renewable energy and atomic energy were formed. The proposal for cooperation framework was then prepared.
The fruits of the agreement between the university and the city manifest through productivity and quality of research work and technology development, which include the publishing of research papers and filing patents.
During the first year of cooperation, the achievement in a short period of time was great. Dr. Abdeljawad stresses the necessity of continuing the way forward in enhancing joint cooperation and focusing heavily on solar energy research, which is a promising field for sustainable energy and for achieving the 2030 ambitious Vision. This will enhance the university trend to be a research-intensive university with a direct impact in developing the economy through localization of technologies.
KFUPM with its distinguished researchers and the experiences of its faculty members, has the necessary capabilities which qualified it to be a pioneer in the research of renewable energy field and the development of technologies that would have an impact at the national and global levels. KFUPM has research cooperation with the University of Tokyo especially in the solar energy where the solar cells developed at the University of Tokyo are considered the best globally so far.
Dr. Abdeljawad said that we aspire to achieve the Kingdom's ambition in that the renewable and atomic energy, will be the two main sources of energy in the Kingdom, and can be utilized in several applications.
For his part, His Excellency Dr. Khalid Al Sultan thanked the researchers for their efforts and wished for the continuation of research cooperation between the City and the University benefiting from the City support and focusing mostly on the field of renewable energy.
KACARE is investing in plans and projects related to renewable energy to achieve the Saudi Vision where the Kingdom will depend on renewable and atomic energy to produce 50% of its energy consumption by 2030 and that clean energy produced is an important addition to the Kingdom's economy, noting the importance of a strong research base to achieve these goals .
He added that the City is looking forward to a long-term research partnership with the University and to enhance cooperation in the coming years by increasing faculty and students in funded programs, increasing participation in research and workshops and focusing more on areas that serve the Kingdom's vision and goals.
Dr. Fahd Al-Ismail, Director of the Office of Cooperation with KACARE, said the meeting is an important step to enhance long and fruitful cooperation between the University and the City, looking forward to be a model for cooperation between academic institutions and sectors of society in areas of mutual interest and hoping that this cooperation will enhance the achievement of 2030 vision in promoting dependence on renewable energy.
The cooperation in his first year was fruitful in terms of the number of research published and the filing of (20) patents belong to KACARE Center in Dhahran Techno Valley.
On December 12, 2018, KFUPM signed a cooperation agreement with the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), to enhance the quality of science, technology, education, and industrial development in atomic and renewable energy in the Kingdom.
The agreement aims to cooperate in the areas of research and innovation, education and training, entrepreneurship, technology incubators, the establishment of an energy center, and the provision of advisory services, by utilizing KFUPM research capabilities (human capital and infrastructure) and developing them to achieve real research results in the framework of main technical fields that promote the growth of the renewable energy and atomic energy research system in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The cooperation between the University and the City is represented in several areas, the most important of which is the financing of KFUPM graduate students scholarships in important research fields that serve the national economy and aligned with the vision of 2030, and to provide Executive Master Program in atomic or renewable energy. Moreover, KFUPM will provides advisory services to the KACARE, in addition to establishing a City-funded energy center at the university.
The agreement also includes full or partial financing of the training programs for future entrepreneurs in the field of renewable or atomic energy, providing initial cash grants to start-up companies and projects incubated at the university based on their presentation that includes an initial work plan, and supporting the establishment of an incubator for energy technologies.