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Posted: June 17, 2008
Saudi nanotechnology project gets government backing
(Nanowerk News) Higher Education Minister Dr. Khaled Al-Anqari yesterday commended King Abdullah’s moral and material support to research centers on nanotechnology and its applications in the Kingdom.
Opening an international conference on nanotechnology at King Abdulaziz University (KAU) in Jeddah, he said the king has given his directives to remove all obstacles facing such research centers.
“King Abdullah has agreed to become the honorary president of the Saudi Society for Nanotechnology,” the minister said, adding that this approval reflected the king’s support for scientific research.
King Abdullah has already approved the establishment of three nanotechnology research centers in the Kingdom, including the one at KAU. He has given SR12 million to establish the KAU center.
About 500 delegates are taking part in the conference, which will discuss 100 research papers.
International speakers have come from the US, China, South Korea, Britain, Russia, India, Japan, Italy, Taiwan and Bulgaria.
Al-Anqari later inaugurated a knowledge garden, a house of expertise, business incubators and central workshops as well as an exhibition on nanotechnology.
Dr. Usama Tayeb, president of KAU, emphasized his university’s efforts to make use of modern technology.
Speaking at the conference, Dr. Sami Habeeb, director of Nanotechnology Center at the university, said the new technology would boost the Kingdom’s efforts to achieve sustained progress, diversify resources and create more jobs for its citizens.
“The university decided to host this large conference with the participation of experts from different parts of the world in order to exchange views and discuss results of new researches in the field,” he said.
Habeeb said the conference would witness the signing of agreements on joint projects and establishing partnerships with foreign universities. He emphasized the need to promote an industrial culture instead of a consumer culture in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. The private sector in the world currently spends more than $12 billion on nanotechnology.