King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), a leading research and graduate education institution dedicated to the development and advancement of new and existing technologies, and LONGi, a global leader in the solar industry, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster innovation in solar energy.
Special advisor to KAUST president, Dr. Kevin Cullen and LONGi President for the MEA-CA region Dr. James Jin signed the MoU in the presence of LONGi senior representatives during the Shanghai New International Expo Center (SNEC 2023), a leading international solar trade event. The agreement highlights the commitment of both organizations to drive innovation and accelerate the adoption of sustainable energy solutions to address the pressing challenges of climate change in line with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and Saudi Green Initiative.
The strategic partnership aims to leverage the expertise and resources of both organizations to accelerate the development and deployment of solar technologies, with a focus on advancing the efficiency and reliability of innovative photovoltaic (PV) technologies for the demanding environmental conditions in the Kingdom.
“We are excited to embark on this collaboration with LONGi,” said Dr. Cullen. “This partnership reflects our shared commitment to advancing solar energy technologies to address regional and global energy challenges. By combining the cutting-edge research and innovation of KAUST with LONGi’s industry expertise, we aim to drive impactful advancements in solar technology and contribute to the transition towards a cleaner and more sustainable future.”
Dr. Frédéric Laquai, interim director of the KAUST Solar Center, added, “Collaborating with industrial partners such as LONGi creates new opportunities to accelerate innovation of solar technologies at the KAUST Solar Center. Together, we aspire to increase the efficiency and reliability of novel photovoltaic technologies, upscale from lab-scale devices to industrially-relevant cell sizes, and tailor solar technologies to the specific demands of the region.”
Under the MoU, KAUST and LONGi will undertake joint projects, harnessing the complementary expertise and strengths of both organizations. The collaboration will encompass many aspects, including the testing of novel PV module concepts in real-world, outdoor conditions, development of new materials and novel solar cell and module designs, advanced manufacturing processes, and performance optimization.
Both institutions will also foster talent development through joint educational and vocational training programs, workshops and exchange visits. These initiatives will facilitate the exchange of ideas and expertise between researchers, engineers and students, promoting a collaborative environment and driving further solar innovations, as well as contribute to the development of the local workforce for the Kingdom’s PV energy sector.
Dr. Jin stated, “LONGi is committed to driving the global energy transition through continuous innovation in solar technology. We are excited to collaborate with KAUST, an esteemed research and education institution known for its cutting-edge research and advancements in sustainable energy. This partnership will enable us to combine our strengths and accelerate the development of high-performance solar products and solutions.”