RIYADH: King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) on Monday announced plans to launch five new open access science and technology journals in the Kingdom.
KACST President Mohammed Al-Suwaiyel revealed this while inaugurating the Saudi International Nanotechnology Conference 2010 here.
The five journals will be in the areas of water technology, oil and gas technology, petrochemicals technology, biotechnology and nanotechnology. They will be published early next year in print and online.
The conference, held under the support of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, was attended by nanotechnology experts from the United States, Europe and Africa. It will cover a large number of basic scientific fields and applications including energy, membranes, electronics and photonics, chemical catalysts and chemical compounds.
Al-Suwaiyel pointed out that KACST has been active in the field of nanotechnology for some time. “We built the necessary laboratories and infrastructure and collaborated with major universities and industries worldwide.”
KACST has worked on a number of nanotechnology projects of relevance to the local economy and local needs, he said, indicating that one of the most recent achievements is the research on nanocatalysts that resulted in the development of environmentally-friendly jet fuel.
“KACST is collaborating with Intel and IBM in various nanotechnology projects and initiatives to enhance the performance of products for communications and solar energy,” he said.
“The latest developments in these undertakings will be presented and discussed at the conference. A special session on nanotechnology applications for the energy sector is also part of the program.”
Al-Suwaiyel said that a session at the conference would be dedicated to nanomembrane technologies. The Kingdom is home to over 18 percent of global desalination capacity and relies on this technology for much of its fresh water supplies.
The important role nanocatalysis plays in advancing such vital sectors as oil and environmental protection will also be covered at the conference.
KACST President Mohammed Al-Suwaiyel.
“Nanotechnology is a leading metascience of the future and could impact the production of virtually every human-made object,” Al-Suwaiyel said.
“By taking a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to nanotechnology, the plan will foster academic excellence and ensure that world-class research and development facilities are available to all sectors of the economy.”
The experts will present latest developments and discuss a wide range of issues that affect essential strategic technologies for the Kingdom.
The conference will review nanotechnology strategies and trends, both internationally and in the Kingdom.
KACST has funded a number of research projects related to nanotechnology, including projects focusing on silicon nanoparticles production, carbon nanotube production, catalyst nanocoating and other projects related to composite materials.
Much of this research has been in materials and synthesis. While the application of this research has often been aligned with the industrial and economic needs of the Kingdom, such as looking at improving fossil fuel extraction with nanomaterials, some research has looked at other nanotechnology applications, including structural materials and coatings.
Nanotechnology academic research in the Kingdom took a positive turn when King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Tuwal entered the field.
KAUST has a laboratory dedicated to nanotechnology research and it is expected that it will make major contributions in this area.
Industry in the Kingdom is well aligned to take advantage of nanotechnology research. Local companies, such as Saudi Aramco and Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), have devoted resources to conducting nanotechnology research.
It is estimated that these two companies alone have launched more than 20 research projects in the field of nanotechnology.
To support this research, it is estimated that they have staff with more than 20 Ph.D.s and the necessary nanotechnology expertise.
Industry research within the Kingdom has been aimed at applying nanotechnologies to improving fuel extraction.
However, the research they have conducted has broad applications in fields that include biotechnology, catalysis and membranes, sensors and measurement and energy and the environment.