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Dear Colloquium Participant,

We welcome you to the beautiful shores of the Red Sea to take part in the International Colloquium on Flexible Electronics and Photovoltaics (ICFE-PV). The ICFE-PV is an important milestone in the brief history of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), both by its scope and its scale. It is also a very timely and relevant topic. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has recently announced a 109 billion dollar investment in renewable energy over the next two decades to achieve 41 Giga Watts of electricity by 2030 with the goal to become less dependent on oil for both economic and environmental purposes. KAUST has a unique opportunity at this juncture to play a central role in this national endeavor. Potential contributions range from educating and training highly ski​lled scientists, engineers and leaders, to carrying out leading edge research and development, to making technologically significant innovations with economic impact.
In organizing this event, we aim to provide you with a warm and invigorating forum to gather and exchange ideas with peers from Saudi Arabia and from around the world. The program includes 35 invited talks from global experts from nearly every continent with expertise ranging from organic electronics to inorganic photovoltaics and bioelectronics. This event is also inclusive of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from around the world and we are very pleased that the MRS Student Chapter at KAUST has organized a poster session with close to 50 contributions, a large portion of which are international contributions. The poster session and awards are generously sponsored by Nature Materials and the Nature Publishing Group, by the Royal Society of Chemistry, and by the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), to whom we are grateful. The ICFE-PV organizing committee is also very thankful to the KAUST’s Office of Competitive Research Funds for generous funding and to the Solar and Photovoltaic Engineering Research Center, the Physical Science and Engineering division, and the Office of the Vice President of Research for providing us with valuable administrative support.
During your short visit, you will hopefully discover KAUST, an ambitious start-up graduate-level university in its fifth year. Although a fledgling institution, KAUST has at its core many of the ingredients of a truly successful global research university. These ingredients, referred to as the “essential ecology of a science and technology university” by Dr Jean-Lou Chameau, have drawn the president of one of the most prestigious institutions, Caltech, to take the helm at one of the youngest in existence. We welcome you to discover for yourself what these ingredients may be and to experience the unique ecology of KAUST during your visit.
With best wishes,
Aram Amassian, KAUST
Natalie Stingelin, Imperial College London