The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Saudi Electric Services Polytechnic (SESP), a leading center of vocational training in the field of energy.
The MoU supports the renewable energy goals stated in the Saudi Vision 2030. Both KAUST and SESP look forward to achieving joint, strategic goals, and implementing projects and initiatives that enhance solar power skills in the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia is characterized with a geographic location and climate suitable for solar energy, which is set to become a key power source in the country. One of the Saudi Vision 2030 goals is to generate half of its power needs using renewables including solar power.
The MoU crowns KAUST and SESP’s unified efforts to train skilled and qualified national cadres to design and install solar panels, to help achieve one of the country’s strategic priorities -the conversion to clean energy- and prepare over 100 skilled workers by 2023.
This partnership consists of two programs that focus on designing photovoltaic power and installing photovoltaic power. At the end of the programs, trainees will have the chance to apply for official tests at the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) to become certified designers and technicians in the solar power industry.
This is not the first cooperation between KAUST and SESP. They formerly joined efforts in providing training courses in partnership with KAUST’s Solar Center, which contributed to making qualified Saudi engineers who designed photovoltaic and solar power plants in the country. Supported by KAUST’s innovation department responsible for translating research and building abilities, SESP and KAUST’s Solar Center also launched the first vocational training program for solar power techniques.
Dr. Kevin Cullen, KAUST vice president for innovation, said: “Building technical abilities and skilled workforce in the Kingdom is among KAUST’s top innovation goals. We look forward to supporting SESP and the Solar Center in KAUST by establishing the first program aimed at filling the gap in the specialized workforce, and basic infrastructure in the Saudi solar power market.”
“The institute was capable of producing qualified, productive graduates while also recognizing the need of renewable energy companies for qualified junior technicians,” said SESP Director-General Dr. Khaled Al-Somali.
“There is no doubt that the ongoing improvements in our institute, programs, financial status, and culture based on safety, respect, good manner, and constant education, have contributed to perfectly achieve our visions and goals.”
As part of the MoU, a coordination team including two senior executives from KAUST and SESP will be formed to oversee the exchange of knowledge and expertise, with focus on graduating skilled leaders.
By signing this MoU, both parties have emphasized their joint will to establish a special connection that serves their strategic interests in line with the Kingdom’s goals including addressing the national, regional, and global challenges topped by economic diversification, providing skilled workforce, and building a more sustainable future.