03 November 2016
By MOHAMMED RASOOLDEEN
RIYADH: In line with Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Plan (NTP) 2020, King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) will set up 15 centers of excellence to create an appropriate research environment, and support initiatives and programs.
President of KACST Prince Turki Saud Mohammad Al-Saud made this announcement in Dhahran at the 4th Saudi International Nanotechnology Conference (SINC 2016) at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals on Wednesday.
The two-day conference was attended by 320 speakers from abroad who included the winner of Nobel Prize in Physics 2014, Shuji Nakamura, professor of Materials Department, Research Director for the Solid State Lighting & Energy Electronics Center at the University of California Santa Barbara, US; the winner of Nobel Prize in chemistry this year, Fraser Stoddart, director of the Center for Chemistry of Integrated Systems, Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University, US; Michael Graetzel, director of the Laboratory of Photonics and Interfaces École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland; and last year’s winner of King Faisal International Prize, Omar M. Yaghi, the James and Neeltje Tretter Chair Professor of Chemistry, UC Berkeley, USA Co-Director Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute California Research Alliance by BASF.
Nakamura spoke on the invention of high efficient blue LEDS and future solid state lighting.
Stoddart presented a scientific paper on “Design and synthesis of non-equilibrium systems,” while Stoddart, who was one among the trio to win the Nobel Prize in chemistry, currently heads the Joint Center of the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and Northwestern University, and is involved in training number of Saudi researchers in the Kingdom.
The KACST president said that the centers of excellence will focus on different areas in nanotechnology in coordination with Northwestern University, the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford.
Prince Turki pointed out that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman attaches great importance to scientific research and technical development in various fields for sustainable development of the country. Implementations of such vision would boost the country’s national economy through the localization of human resources and transfer of technology and provide the Kingdom with the latest advances in scientific and technological developments.