King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology (KACST) signed agreement today with imec, a world-leading nanoelectronics research center headquartered in Belgium, to host researchers from KACST-INTEL consortium Center of Excellence in Nano-manufacturing Applications (CENA) at imec facilities in Belgium starting September 2011 for a period of three years. CENA focuses on leading-edge research on advanced nano-processing and fabrication technology, and aims at supporting the growth of Saudi Arabia's knowledge-based economy and at boosting its competitiveness on both regional and international levels.
Commenting after signing the agreement, H.E. Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Al-Suwaiyel, President of KACST said: “Imec is a world-leading research center which provides an environment that will enrich the experience of CENA students/researchers and offer significant and relevant experience in applied nanotechnology research”. Dr. Al-Suwaiyel further emphasized CENA’s role in fostering collaboration between KACST as the leading research establishment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Intel Corporation and academic institutions across the Arab World and Turkey. “CENA is considered an important step towards growing Saudi Arabia's knowledge-based economy and boosting its competitiveness on both regional and international levels;” added Dr. Al-Suwaiyel.
Dr. Luc Van den hove, President and CEO of imec, praised the agreement as the first collaboration opportunity between KACST and imec and added: “We are pleased about the CENA hosting arrangement and are committed to continue to explore with KACST collaborations in other research areas relevant to both organizations.”
H.H. Prince Dr. Turki S. Al-Saud, KACST Vice President for Research Institutes, said: “The focus of CENA is to conduct leading-edge research on advanced nano-processing and fabrication technology, including MEMS/NEMS, nano-sensors and networks, nano-devices, and synthesis and deposition of nano-structures.” H.H. Dr. Turki Al-Saud pointed out: “Establishing CENA is considered an important step reflective of KACST’s effort, in particular, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in general, in enhancing graduate education, promoting advanced technology research and creating an environment of innovation for researchers in the Kingdom and Arab world & Turkey.”
In addition to its international reputation as a leading research center in nano-electronics and nano-technology, the shared vision, emphasis on industry-driven research, and alignment in research areas between CENA and imec were keys during the selection process.
“The choice of imec reflects the close relationship between Intel and imec that spans more than two decades covering various areas of research in the field of semiconductor processing and advanced lithography;” said Dr. Makarem Hussein, CENA Director. “This hosting agreement further underscores KACST continued effort in building the human resources needed for strong nanotech research in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is also a step towards making reality its vision for turning Saudi Arabia into a regional hub for science and research;” added Dr. Hussein.
CENA is planning the launch of “CENA DAY” events during March 2011 to engage imec researchers with eligible students and researchers in the region. Scholarships will be granted to selected students pursuing doctorate and master degree in various disciplines of engineering and science who are registered at universities affiliated with CENA through a joint research and academic advising agreement with CENA in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and throughout the Arab world, and Turkey.