As part of K●A●CARE’s mandate, its main role is to develop and deploy a sustainable energy mix for the Kingdom that will cover both the renewable and nuclear energy. The research,development and innovation (RDI) sector will be the technical support arm of K●A●CARE by being a mission-driven organization that is the national technology leader in renewable and nuclear energy. In addition, it seeks to be the global leader in the development of renewable and nuclear energy technologies optimized for Saudi Arabian environments to support K●A●CARE’s recommended target of 50% renewable and nuclear energy in the Kingdom by 2032.
Being a “mission-driven organization” implies that K●A●CARE will apply scientific investigation and technological development designed to achieve specific, well-identified technical and commercial outcomes that are essential to the fulfillment of major policy and economic driven outcomes within a defined timeline and a budgeted investment. By applying this concept, K●A●CARE’s RDI will achieve the following objectives:
K●A●CARE differs in strategic intent from universities and industry. Universities typically conduct basic research funded by grants, while industrial R&D is largely financed by private enterprise and driven by commercialization goals and horizon. K●A●CARE seeks to bridge these two domains by facilitating basic research with potential to meet national needs, while facilitating the translation to commercialization. RDI’s main organizational units include the research-performing programs (Nuclear Program, Renewables Program, Energy Efficiency Program, and Cross-Functional Technology Program) and the research-supporting programs (Research Capacity Development Program, R&D Planning & Funding, Regulatory Support Program, and Energy Industrialization Program). Most likely, these programs will be hosted by three different world class national laboratories in The Sustainable City of K●A●CARE. These laboratories will be offered as user facilities.
The key design aspect of this organization is that it is program-focused and technology-enabled as opposed to organized around disciplines, as would be in the case of university departments. In addition, not all elements are equally sized or staffed. The majority of the staff would be in the main technology programs: nuclear, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and cross-functional technologies.
In addition, the organization assumes that each technology program officers is responsible for their own national user facilities, since the program officers are the technical experts who will design and operate the facilities.
In terms of creating an efficient organizational culture, it is critical to establish an innovation culture that internalizes K●A●CARE’s core values and attributes, including: technical and managerial excellence; commitment to achieving objectives; professional integrity and ethical behavior; support of creativity and innovation; openness; and strong knowledge management. Reflecting these values, K●A●CARE’s organizational culture, policies and processes should be defined by merit, transparency, independent thinking, open communication, responsibility, and teamwork. K●A●CARE needs to establish a strong task culture that emphasizes efficiency, innovation, dynamism and results.
A series of selection criteria was used to identify priority research programs tailored to the mission needs of K●A●CARE which cover the following:
The Research Agenda is a critical part of the research planning process and drives a series of related documents
The individual research programs in the RDI department are organized into research groups, which are categorized by the goals of their research. The following is the breakdown of research groups within each research focus area; Renewable Energy (RE), Nuclear Energy (NE), and Energy Efficiency (EE).
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