RAK-CAM to provide research grants
Ras Al Khaimah, February 26, 2009
Ras Al Khaimah Centre for Advanced Materials (RAK- CAM) has announced about half a dozen new grants for materials science research in UAE universities.
Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, announced expansion of the `Sheikh Saqr Al Qasimi Research Fellowship’ (SSAQRF) programme to encourage scientific research in UAE Universities at the first International Workshop on Advanced Materials (IWAM- 09), which concluded recently.
“We are doubling the budget for the SSAQRF programme in order to encourage more local students take up research projects in UAE Universities and across the region,” Sheikh Saud said.
The new research grants would expand the scope of the SSAQRF programme which currently supports materials science research in University of Pennsylvania, University of Cambridge, Virginia Commonwealth University and Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research in Bangalore.
“According to the 2003 Arab Human Development Report, investment in research and development (R&D) in the Arab world is less than one- seventh of the world average,” Sheikh Saud said. “Furthermore, the main limitation of the Arab scientific R&D agencies is their lack of capacity to transform research results into investment projects. The underlying gap for this exists either in research plans or in the knowledge, expertise and facilities of these institutions.”
Sheikh Saud said that RAK- CAM is envisioned as a flagship for advanced research in the Middle East and will provide educational and training opportunities for new scientists and engineers at the regional and international levels, conduct research in support of local industries, develop new business opportunities and produce new options to ensure energy security and sustainable development.
“RAK- CAM will embrace interdisciplinary materials science in the broadest sense- from structural materials to advanced electronic materials and biomaterials,” Sheikh Saud added. “The industry of Advanced Materials has become a priority area around the world and is rapidly developing. Additionally, Advanced Materials research holds special significance for RAK as it has a rapidly developing manufacturing sector, accounting for 52 per cent of GDP.”
He added that development of advanced materials and processes could result in large savings in energy and product life-cycle costs for a large number of industries.
Sheikh Saud also announced the appointment of chemical physicist, Prof Mostafa A El-Sayed as the first Sheikh Saqr visiting professor at RAK-CAM. Prof Mostafa is the winner of the 2007 US national medal of science, and is currently the Julius Brown Chair and Regents professor at Georgia Tech University, Atlanta. – TradeArabia News Service