The one who builds a bridge between research and industry – Ahmed Alfadhel

The researcher and entrepreneur Ahmed Alfadhel was born in 1987 in Alkhubar, Saudi Arabia. Today, Ahmed is an innovation enabler at the Research Products Development Company, a semi-public company in Saudi Arabia owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) that focuses on technology commercialization Previously, he completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Rochester Institute of Technology in the Department of Microsystems Engineering in the United States, where he led research projects funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Air Force. His expertise lies in the field of nanofabrication and additive manufacturing techniques for the realization of flexible electronics, microsystems and sensor technologies based on multifunctional nanomaterials. In addition, as an entrepreneur, he co-founded a start-up company that produces high-quality nanoporous ceramic membranes for various applications, including nanofiltration, microsensors and catalyst carriers.

He received his MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and his BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, USA. Ahmed has received several awards and was named an “Innovator under 35 in the Arab World” by the MIT Technology Review. Through his work, he aims to bridge the gap between research, development and industry to contribute to the movement of his home Kingdom of Saudi Arabia towards a knowledge-based and innovative economy.

What is your work about?

As chief technologist in a semi-public company that focuses on providing comprehensive support for the commercialization of R&D, I am helping to further strengthen Saudi Arabia’s entrepreneurial and innovative power. My experience has enabled me to identify high potential technologies in the Saudi Arabian ecosystem that can develop into high-tech start-ups and to provide a wide range of technical and business support. In addition to leading commercialization activities for patented technologies from various sectors, I am driving the mission of capacity building for nanotechnology and flexible sensor technologies.

What drives you in life, Ahmed?

I am driven by the urge to make positive changes for people around the world in general and for the wider community. My motivation has been triggered by a passion for science and innovation. The need to mature the innovation ecosystem in Saudi Arabia to bring research concepts to market is obvious. I try to contribute to this mission through my current position. Having gone through the whole cycle both as a researcher and as an entrepreneur, I understand the challenges. I see it as my task to help young innovators to overcome their challenges.



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