The First International Palestinian Conference on Nanotechnology for Advanced Material and Devices which was organized at An-Najah University in cooperation with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the United States and Palestine Technical University-Kadoorie in Tulkarem, was successfully concluded at the University. In the first session of the third day, the participants addressed the importance of an excellence center in nanotechnology and the international opportunities for networking and cooperation, in addition to speaking about future strategic plans.

In the second session which was directed by Dr. Sulaiman Khalil, Dean of the Faculty of Science at An-Najah, Dr. Munit Nayfeh, and Pat Schneider, Geeken Group, Chicago, the owners of the winning projects were honored. Winners were Alaa’ Muhammad Shaheen from the Department of Computer Engineering, and Sundus from Palestine Technical University. The two students were granted 2000 USDs as a reward by Ms. Teresa Esser, Angel Investor, USA and Pehr Anderson, Harqen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Professor Reyad Sawafta honored the winners of the best poster that was presented at the Conference.

The participants also announced that networking was established between the higher studies students and several international universities whereby Palestinian students would be sent to pursue their PhD study at the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois and the University of Florida in the field of medical biology and the use of nanotechnology in cancer treatment, water purification, renewable energy, and the extraction of poisonous materials from soil.

In the third session, the participants approved and announced the establishment of the Palestinian Nanotechnology Society. The Founding Committee of the Society consisted of members from An-Najah University, Birzeit University, Al-Quds University, Bethlehem University, the Arab-American University and Palestine Technical University; other universities who wish to join the Society are highly welcomed.

The Founding Committee has been assigned to the mission of directing and managing the establishment of the Society according to the system adopted by the Palestinian Ministry of Interior. An international advisory council was also announced which consisted of Dr. Munir Nayfeh, Dr. Reyad Sawafta, Dr. Mostafa Analoui, Ms. Teresa Esser, Dr. James Murday and Dr. Johannes Schwank.

The participants in the Conference recommended:

1-      Holding the Conference once every two years at one of the Palestinian universities each time.

2-      Providing networking with universities and research centers, in addition to cooperation in the field of nanotechnology by researchers, academics and students in the Palestinian universities.

3-      Submitting joint projects between the universities that participated in the Conference with respect to nanotechnology applications in medicine, agriculture, renewable energy and water.

4-      Providing the necessary equipment that most Palestinian universities require for diagnostic purposes through a dedicated national excellence center that is open to all academics and researchers working in the field of nanotechnology.

5-      Providing scholarships for students to pursue their PhD study in the different fields of nanotechnology.

6-      Providing training opportunities for students, technicians and academics in universities, companies and research centers which participated in the Conference in the field of nanotechnology.

At the end of the Conference, Dr. Sulaiman Khalil, Dean of the Faculty of Science, thanked President Mahmoud Abbas and Prof. Rami Hamdallah for their support and valued the participants’ efforts and work during the Conference.

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