Saudi group, IBM plan Nanotech centre
Riyadh, February 26, 2008
King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), the Saudi Arabian national research and development organisation, said it will establish a nanotechnology centre of excellence, in association with IBM Research.
The centre would help the groups to seek key innovations, and explore and develop breakthroughs in applying molecular-scale engineering to critical energy and sustainable resource issues.
An agreement was signed in Riyadh by KACST and IBM in the presence of KACST president Dr Mohammed I Al-Suwaiyel; KACST vice president for research institutes, Dr Turki bin Saud; IBM vice president for business development and licensing William LaFontaine Jr and general manager for IBM Middle East, Egypt and Pakistan, Takreem El Tohamy.
Under this multi-year agreement, Saudi scientists and engineers will work side by side with IBM scientists and engineers on advanced nano-science and nano-technology programs in the fields of solar energy, water desalination and petrochemical applications such as recyclable materials.
The work will be conducted between teams working at IBM laboratories in Zurich, Switzerland; Almaden, California; Yorktown Heights, New York; and the KACST/IBM Nanotechnology Centre of Excellence in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
“Working and partnering with IBM, one of the leading global technology companies and the world’s largest nanotechnology research institution, not only helps us to address important scientific and economic challenges to the Kingdom such as energy and water desalination but also helps us to evolve our strategy and take our research efforts to new heights,” said Dr Al Suwaiyel, KACST president.
“This type of joint technology development agreement is critical for the Kingdom as it builds its capabilities in advanced scientific research and development.”
The first-of-its-kind agreement will enrich the know-how of Saudia Arabia's scientific community and advance the Saudi government’s economic development and policy initiatives in the fields of alternative energy, water treatment and materials science.
At the same time, it will advance IBM’s strategic interests in nanotechnology and environmental innovations, through access to the materials and technology created as a result of the agreement.
“The world’s most important societal issues, such as those related to the environment, can no longer be addressed in isolation,” said LaFontaine Jr.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates that when it comes to creating renewable energy or clean drinking water, the nature of innovation is changing to become more global and collaborative,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service