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Prince Turki Ibn Saud Ibn Mohammad Al-Saud (center) and Dean Vijay K. Dhir (right) of UCLA Engineering sign documents as Professor Kang L. Wang looks on.

Saudi Arabia's Science Agency to Fund UCLA Research in Nanoelectronics, Clean Energy

A cooperative agreement and contract were signed recently, cementing a new relationship between Saudi Arabia's national science agency and national laboratories and UCLA Engineering.

By Matthew Chin for UCLA Today

King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology (KACST) in Saudi Arabia and UCLA, represented by Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, have signed an agreement that will establish a Center of Excellence in Green Nanotechnology to promote educational and research exchanges, as well as an agreement with UCLA for research in nanoelectronics and clean energy for the next 10 years.
 
The center will be co-directed by Prince Turki Ibn Saud Ibn Mohammad Al-Saud of KACST and Professor Kang L. Wang. The agreements were made official at a signing ceremony, held August 11, at the Edward K. Rice Room in Boelter Hall.
 
KACST is both Saudi Arabia's national science agency and its national laboratories. At the signing ceremony, KACST was represented by Prince Turki, the organization's vice-president for research institutes. UCLA Engineering was represented by Dean Vijay K. Dhir and Professor Kang L. Wang, Raytheon Professor of Electrical Engineering at UCLA.
 
The initial kick-off phase of $3.2 million will fund the center over three years in the following research areas:

  • Nanostructures for high efficiency solar cells
  • Patterned nanostructures for integrated active optoelectronics on silicon
  • Carbon nanotube circuits

"I am very delighted that we have started a joint collaboration with UCLA on green nanotechnogy," said Prince Turki. "We view UCLA as a leading world institution in many fields, and nanotechnology in particular. This collaboration is part of KACST's programs to implement the National Science, Technology and Innovation plan for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The plan calls for the Kingdom to join the technologically advanced industrialized nations by 2025. We are looking forward to expand our joint Center with other fields in the future."

"We foresee a fruitful cooperation lasting many years that includes research in emerging nanotechnology areas to benefit both the Saudi Kingdom and the U.S. economies, whilst training the next generation of science and engineering professionals." said Kang L. Wang.

Said Dhir: "Through this new cooperative agreement, we are looking forward to working with KACST researchers on current challenges in Green Nanotechnology in energy and nano-bio areas. UCLA Engineering has some of the very best researchers in the world in these areas, and this joint collaboration will certainly help turn innovative ideas into technologies that will have great societal benefits for both of our countries."