JEDDAH: King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) signed at its headquarters in Thuwal a major international Master Research Agreement with the US’ Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest security and aerospace company.
The agreement is the first of its kind that Lockheed Martin has signed outside the US.
The two sides announced their cooperation in the field of flexible electronics, which includes the integration of flexible solar cells developed by KAUST into unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — or drones — to enhance their operational endurance capabilities and support their practical applications across a range of sectors.
Under the agreement, Lockheed Martin and KAUST agreed to cooperate in various technology projects that support Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.
Lockheed Martin Chief Technology Officer Martin Jackson stressed that innovation and creativity in the technological and engineering fields are the two main drivers of sustainable long-term growth in the Kingdom.
“This practical collaboration will allow us to discover innovative solutions to overcome the challenges that exist, especially as we look forward to working with Saudi talents, and we are fully aware that we have a promising future that awaits us,” he said.
Jean Frechet, the university’s senior vice president for research, innovation and economic development, said that one of the objectives of the project, which will run over a year, will be to design, develop, integrate and test flexible and innovative solar cells, to improve the durability capabilities of small UAVs so that these aircraft can be used in many applications, including agricultural production and monitoring of marine environments.