RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA: Intel and King Abdul-Aziz City of Science and Technology (KACST), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia signed a collaborative research agreement to establish CENA, a world-class Center of Excellence in Nano-manufacturing Applications.
The agreement was signed by Prince Dr. Turki bin Saud bon Mohammed Al-Saud, Vice President for research institutes, KACST and Mr. Aziz Al-noghaither, Intel's Saudi Arabia country manager. The signing ceremony was also attended by Justin Rattner, Intel Vice President, Director of Corporate Technology Group and Chief Technology Officer, and Dr. Makarem Hussein, a senior principal with Intel Corporation and the Founding Director of CENA, KACST researchers and managers, and Intel employees in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa region (META).
The focus of CENA is to conduct leading-edge research on advanced nano-processing and fabrication technology, including MEMS/NEMS, nano-sensors/network, nano-devices, and synthesis and deposition of nano-structures. CENA will commence its activities in October 2010.
CENA is designed to foster collaboration between Intel Corporation, a global process technology leader, KACST, a leading research institution in the Kingdom, local Saudi industry and academic resources in Saudi Arabia and META. Establishing CENA is considered an important step towards growing Saudi Arabia's knowledge-based economy and boosting its competitiveness on both regional and international levels. It also demonstrates the Kingdom's dedication to enhancing graduate education, promoting advanced research and creating an adequate environment for innovation for researchers in the Kingdom and META region.
KACST is working on setting up a "clean room" and has allocated the facility investment and funds to make sure the center is equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technologies and tools. Intel, in turn, is providing the planning, and know-how through a dedicated group of founding Intel experts assigned to conduct research and guide students at CENA.
During 2010-2011, CENA will tap into the abundant talent pool in the Kingdom and region to hire 50 to 60 carefully-selected and highly-motivated graduate students. These students will be recruited from all over the Arab World and Turkey through a rigorous selection process. As CENA's research is multidisciplinary in nature, students in computer science, physics, chemistry, material sciences and many of the engineering disciplines are encouraged to apply and to make CENA their preferred center to conduct research in nano-manufacturing. It is imperative to note that CENA does not grant academic degrees but provides research venue and guidance for students to conduct research towards graduate degrees from their home institution.
Compared to those awarded by institutions in the USA and Europe, CENA scholarships provide a far more generous support for the student and his home institution advisor. Some of these scholarships will be awarded by KACST while the majority will be provided by visionary cultural organizations in the Arab World who share the belief in the vital need to bring an end to the "brain drain" phenomena from the region to secure future growth and economic development. The identity of these organizations will be announced at a later time.
"This agreement with Intel will pave the way to creating a rich environment in which researchers and talented scientists, not only from the Kingdom but from the Arab and Islamic region at large, to do their research in this filed and leverage the capabilities CENTA is set to provide." Said Prince Dr. Turki bin Saud bon Mohammed Al-Saud, Vice President for research institutes, KACST.
"We must acknowledge the Kingdom's leading role in promoting advanced technology research in the region and commend their decision, which stemmed from their sense of responsibility, in making CENA accessible to all researchers in the region", said Dr. Makarem Hussein.
Abdulaziz Al-Noghaither, Intel's general manager for Saudi Arabia highlighted the close relationship between Intel and KACST that has spanned many years and resulted in multiple joint initiatives in the fields of science and technology. Al-Noghaither also praised KACST vision of turning the Kingdom into a regional hub for science and research.
CENA is the second joint center Intel is setting up in the Kingdom with KACST. Intel and KACST last year announced plans for establishing wireless mobile services R&D lab, a first of its kind for Intel outside the USA, with the aim of fostering innovation in META in the fields of WiMAX and other wireless communication technologies.