- Title: Radhouan Ben-Hamadou
- Author: Čedo Maksimović, profesor, Imperial College London i UNESCO
- Date: 28.05
- Tags: debate, environment, urbanism
Blue Green solutions in Arid Zone
Demand for water, raw materials and energy is rising continuously, due to the industrialization of emerging economies and population growth, and Saudi Arabia is not an exception. Being an arid and large country (2.3 million km2), it is a rapidly developing country with increasing demands for all sorts of energy and natural resources.
To enable the implementation of Eco-technologies in the Kingdom a National Water Technology Platform (NWTP) is being created, heavily promoting the partnership between Industry, Universities and Government through joint strategic planning for an effective technology transfer (licensing, patenting and spin-off creation). This Technology Platform addresses objectives of four Strategic Technology Programs in KSA: Biotechnology, Environmental Technology, Water and Petrochemicals and will develop interdisciplinary cutting edge RTD&D activities related especially to the implementation of a fourth generation Algae-Based Biorefinery.
The NWTP is dedicated to 1) solve several current concerns of existing companies (e.g. water and air pollution bioremediation techniques) and 2) setup new technology-based industries in the Kingdom (e.g. renewable and sustainable feedstock production for biorefineries). This biomass production will be coupled to bioremediation processes (urban and industrial wastewaters and CO2 capture).
At NWTP we developed a strategic plan, in association with industrial partners and speeding innovation dedicated agencies taking into account the needed balance between activities to achieve immediate advance in RTD vs. building long-term capacities (especially human resources and public awareness) and the balance between meeting the needs of existing Saudi companies vs. establishing new technology-based companies in the Kingdom.
NWTP will promote outreach strategies for community partnership (public awareness for environmental and green energy issues, especially to schools with pedagogic programs) and education and training to students at 3 Saudi universities: KSU, KFUPM and KAUST. Networking activities will be endorsed through technology platforms, international collaboration and joint university-industry workshops.
NWTP will benefit the Kingdom in a range of major environmental, economic, social and climate issues. It will promote the creation of highly skilled employment with intensive technical know-how, economic growth, renewable generation of feedstock and fuels, high-value bio-products, food and fertilizer production, water supply and treatment and environmental protection, “Investing in a Prosper Blue and Green Future”.
Dr. Radhouan Ben-Hamadou (Eng., PhD) Researcher at the CIMAR-CCMAR specialist on ecological modelling and data mining. He acted as Deputy Director of the UNESCO International Centre for coastal Ecohydrology. Lately he has been engaged in promoting the Ecohydrology paradigm, based on functional relationships between hydrology and biota, for an integrated approach joining IWRM and ICZM. His activities stressed on issues related to the enhancement of the carrying capacity (robustness) of ecosystems against human impacts and developing water management tools based on ecosystem properties.