Acwa Power, a leading Saudi developer of power and desalination projects, has signed an agreement with King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology for the establishment of a new clean energy and water desalination technologies development centre within the KACST campus.
The new ‘Clean Energy and Water Desalination Technologies Development Center’ aims to conduct studies and scientific research in vital areas linked to the clean energy and water sector, said a statement from KACST.
The key topics of focus include development of solar energy technologies, devices for photovoltaic power plants for extreme climatic conditions as well as energy storage technologies to support future energy networks and innovative technologies and materials for desalination membranes.
These are mainly aimed at cutting costs and emissions of desalination processes, as the center will employ artificial intelligence and advanced digital technologies to enable research and achieve goals, it stated.
The new facility aims to boost the presence of Acwa Power within the complex of national laboratories and innovation oases to contribute to spreading the culture of co-operation and innovation between the academic community and the business sector, and to transfer innovative water desalination technology to various areas of the industrial sector, it added.
The joint centre in partnership with Acwa Power comes as part of KACST’s efforts to link technical products to the needs of public and private sectors entities, said Dr Saeed Al-Shehri, the Vice President for the Energy and Industry Sector of KACST, after signing the deal with Thomas Altmann, the Executive Vice President of Innovation and New Technology Sector at Acwa Power.
It will help achieve national aspirations for research, development and innovation by utilizing KACST’s laboratories, scientists, incubator programmes and technology accelerators to develop environmentally friendly and sustainable technologies in the fields of water desalination and clean energy to reach the optimal energy mix that the kingdom seeks, stated Dr Al Shehri at the signing ceremony held in the presence of senior officials including Dr Munir bin Mahmoud Al Desouki, President of KACST, and Mohammad Abunayyan, the founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Acwa Power, as well as Dr Talal Al Sudairi, the Senior Vice President for Research and Development Sector of KACST.
On the collaboration, Altmann said: “We are thrilled to embark on an exciting journey with an esteemed organisation such as KACST, as collaboration is key to our approach to research and development. The partnership aims to develop practical, market-ready solutions to address commercial needs with agility and innovation.”
“It also seeks to contribute to the local research and innovation ecosystem, in line with the objectives of Vision 2030. Utilizing the collective expertise and resources of both organizations, the collaboration will focus on optimizing joint programs through the development of services, pilot plants, laboratories, and cutting-edge simulation and monitoring tools,” he added.
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