MESIA strategic advisors comment on the potential of the recent partnership between ACWA Power and KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology).
02 Aug 2022

Dubai: Arab News has published an article back on the 6th of July on what the partnership means for other businesses of the desalination project between ACWA Power and KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. They have contacted two of MESIA’s strategic advisors, Abhayjit Sinha and Raed Bkayrat, to give their two cents on what this collaboration signifies. 

Too frequently, the business and academic worlds are seen as mutually exclusive. But there is merit in attempting to combine the efforts of these two forces as nations look for scalable solutions to the climate crisis while also trying to meet the needs of populations that are constantly expanding.

Consider the recent collaboration between ACWA Power and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, which has already conducted fresh research on the expanded application of solar power in long-term seawater desalination.

Partnerships such as this represent an exciting convergence of academia and industry, according to regional experts. Abhayjit Sinha, a strategic advisor at the Middle East Solar Industry Association, said such arrangements are mutually beneficial.

“On one hand, KAUST researchers receive a real-world test bed to test their hypotheses,” he told Arab News. “On the other hand, ACWA Power benefits from an extended and external research and development facility.

“A critical success factor is balancing the bold, albeit sometimes theoretical, ideas of academicians with economical value sought by industry players.”

Raed Bkayrat, another strategic adviser at MESIA, believes the partnership will have the added benefit of accelerating research into more sustainable desalination, a process that can be extremely energy intensive.

“Worldwide, seawater desalination is producing an ever-growing carbon footprint and is having a wider ecological impact, if left to current commercial solutions,” he told Arab News.

“Such a partnership will help provide mitigation methods as well as new solutions that can produce desalinated water with a minimal carbon footprint.”


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