By MD AL-SULAMI
Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, said that scientific research is the launch pad for universities to play greater role in community services. He said this while receiving President of the Umm Al-Qura University Bakri Assas, a science research team of the Technology Invention Center at the Geographical Information System and the executive president of the Makkah Technology Valley at the governor's office in Makkah on Monday.
The prince stressed the importance of Saudi universities in the overall development taking place in the Kingdom under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.
"The king's support and care for our universities make them more aware of the roles assigned to them. It also enables them to highlight the scientific and research role which benefits the nation besides the educational mission undertaken by scientists and researchers striving to achieve the national strategy for sustainable investment in knowledge economy," the prince said during the reception.
The prince was given a presentation on the achievements of the universities such as the registration of 100 patents in two years, and conversion of a number of the patents of Saudi inventors to products through agreements signed with several companies a few weeks.
Assas spoke about the vast expansion of university facilities such as colleges and departments, science institutes and research centers both for men and women at its headquarters in Makkah and its off campus centers in Jamoum, Leith and Qunfudah.
He added that this expansion enabled the university to admit more secondary graduates in the past two years, and bring the total number of students receiving university and higher education in all its scientific and theoretical disciplines this year to more than 90,000, under the supervision of 6,000 faculty members and other employees.
The patents viewed by the prince included a small-sized multi-purpose smart sensor device called Core Blue "Made in Makkah" which sends low power wireless signals using Bluetooth technology that could be linked with mobile phones. With a battery it has a life of several years and its signals can be sent up to a distance of 50 meters.
The device can be used in smart city applications as navigation systems inside buildings. Its sensors can measure the temperature and various atmospheric factors. It can also be used to track people such as children and patients in hospitals or follow cars and freight. It could also be used to track pilgrims and missing people during the Haj season and as a navigation device inside the Grand Mosque.
Assas also said the university is striving to join the ranks of advanced universities in the world by focusing on science research programs, inventions and business pioneering to transform the country to a knowledge economy.
Source: Arab News