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Inter-Islamic Network On Nano Technology (INN)

Action Plan 2011-2012





Iran Materials and Energy Research Center (MERC)
July 2011




Table of Contents

S. No.



Introduction and Background












Program Component Area


Program ? I
Collaboration and Cooperation Among Member State




Two (2) Day International Conference on ‘Perspective of nano science and technology in OIC Member States’


Program ? II
Establishment of the INN Computation Portal




Cluster Computing


Supercomputers and Muslim countries






Financial Information


Program - III
Training and Capacity Building




One Week Training Course on ‘Instrumentation and Metrology for Nanotechnology’


Program ? IV
Web Portal of INN


Program ? V

1. Introduction  and Background                                 Back to Top

1.1 Introduction

Nanotechnology is defined as the manipulation of materials measuring 100 nanometers or less in at least one dimension. Nanotechnology is expected to be a critical driver of global economic growth and development in this century. Already, this broad multi-disciplinary field is providing glimpses of exciting new capabilities, enabling materials, devices, and systems that can be examined, engineered, and fabricated at the nanoscale. Using nanotechnology to controllably produce nanomaterials with unique properties is expected to revolutionize technology and industry.
The most two important issues that face the Islamic countries at the present time are: globalization and the emergence of knowledge-based economy. Today world is witnessing a shift from reliance on financial resources as a basis for development to knowledge-based resources. Unfortunately the importance of advancement in Science and Technology has not been fully realized by Muslim world resulting in increasing dependency of Muslim countries on the technologically advanced world and a widening technological gap between the two worlds. Development of long lasting partnerships among Muslim countries is essential today. Given limited financial and human resources amongst Muslim countries, cooperation for S&T efforts has become crucial and this is the most appropriate time for the Muslim world to pool its resources and bridge the widening gap in technological advancement and formulate joint programs of action towards the best outcome.

1.2 Establishment

The proposal to set up The Inter-Islamic Network on Nanotechnology (INN) was approved by the 14th General Assembly Meeting of the Organization of Islamic Conference Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) held on 11th to 13th January, 2011 at Islamabad, Pakistan. Materials and Energy Research Center (MERC), Karaj is the host institution and Government of Iran is the host Government for the INN. The permanent secretariat of the Network is at the Materials and Energy Research Center (MERC), Karaj, Iran.

1.3 Status

The Inter-Islamic Network on Nanotechnology is an international specialized organ of the Organization of the Islamic Conference that carries out the task of promoting nanotechnology in the framework of Organization of the Islamic Conference and the goals of the Standing Committee for Scientific and Technological Cooperation of COMSTECH.

1.4 Objectives                                                    Back to Top

  • To promote cooperation and encourage activities in the field of Nano-tech between member states;

  • To support transferring, developing and managing Nano-tech between member states;

  • To support devising of strategic development of Nano-technology in member states in the fields of education, research, Nano-tech facilities and data bases;

  • Systematic development of Nano-tech network according to a strategic planning and future studies;

  • To lay the grounds for joint cooperation of scientific, industrial and research centers as well as the researchers of member states in the field of Nano-tech;

  • To provide easy access to the new markets of Nano-tech products;

  • To preserve tangible and intangible resources of Nano-tech in the member states and their optimum use;

  • To support the training of qualified human resources in the field of Nano-tech;

  • To support setting standards and to audit practicing standards and environmental regulations in developing Nano-tech in member states;

  • To support production and development processes and to provide infrastructures needed for Nano-tech in member states.

1.5 Functions                                                     Back to Top

  • To identify scientific and research needs and Nano-tech facilities in the Network member states;

  • To help member states make policies, promote and develop Nano-tech;

  • To assist in conducting required research in order to meet the needs of member states in the field of Nano-tech;

  • To support active Nano-tech scientific centers and to help to set up new scientific centers in member states;

  • To provide proper mechanisms to exchange the existing knowledge and pool of resources (scientific, technical data, human resources and?) between the member states;

  • To support establishing centers for preparing needed standards in order to preserve and promote the qualification of Nano-tech products with regard to the international standards;

  • To establish a comprehensive system of intellectual property in Nano-tech field within Network member states;

  • To observe findings and developments of the developed countries and to customize them for member states.

2. Program Component Area                                    Back to Top

Program component areas (PCAs) are key subject areas under which are grouped related nanotechnology R&D projects and activities. They provide an organizational framework for categorizing the activities of the INN. Investment and progress in these areas is critical to achieving the INN’s goals and to realizing its vision. The eight PCAs are described in Table (1). Projects and activities in one or more PCAs are critical to progress toward realizing each goal.
Table 1. Program Component Area


PCA Title




Unreliability, inefficiency and high cost have been the bane of clean technologies such as solar energy and electric vehicles. That’s where nanotechnology comes in, because it holds the key to making these technologies commercially viable.



Nanotechnology has the potential to revolutionize healthcare for the next generation. There are three key areas in which it could do this: Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment. The vision of the future is of harnessing the qualities of nanotechnology to eventually provide healthcare which operates purely from a preventative state, identifying and stopping potential sources of disease/illness in the body before they even get started.


Water and Environment

Lack of fresh water is one of the most important issues in the world. Nanotechnology by presenting appropriate solutions for water and wastewater treatment can play a constructive role in compensation the lack of water and protection the environment. Nanotechnology presented different methods to water treatment that are divided in three main divisions including; refining drinking water, wastewater infiltration and industrial wastewater infiltration.



Research aimed at the discovery of novel nanoscale and nanostructured materials and at a comprehensive understanding of the properties of nanomaterials (ranging across length scales, and including interface interactions). R&D leading to the ability to design and synthesize, in a controlled manner, nanostructured materials with targeted properties



Nanotechnology and special modified hybrid products can be used on buildings and constructions for a range of surfaces. Concrete, because of its wide use is also one of our prime targets for new developments for areas like ultra chemical resistance, high temperature and waterproofing coatings. Paints reduce heat going into the building, controlling room climate, saving air-condition costs and have permanent anti bacterial properties without containing biocides and without adding emissions to the indoor air. 


Fundamental Studies

Discovery and development of fundamental knowledge pertaining to new phenomena in the physical, biological, and engineering sciences that occur at the nanoscale. Elucidation of scientific and engineering principles related to nanoscale structures, processes, and mechanisms.


Instrumentation, Metrology, and Standards

R&D pertaining to the tools needed to advance nanotechnology research and commercialization, including next-generation instrumentation for characterization, measurement, synthesis, and design of materials, structures, devices, and systems. Also includes R&D and other activities related to development of standards, including standards for nomenclature, materials characterization and testing, and manufacture.



Education-related activities such as development of materials for schools, undergraduate programs, technical training, and public communication, including outreach and engagement. Research directed at identifying and quantifying the broad implications of nanotechnology for society, including social, economic, workforce, educational, ethical, and legal implications.

The PCAs as outlined in this plan represent the principal areas that are the focus of the INN today. These areas are broad and are expected to continue to adequately describe the activities within the INN for the next several years.

3. PROGRAM - I                                                  Back to Top

Collaboration and Cooperation among Member State

3.1 Introduction

A better dialogue between researchers, public and private decision-makers, other stakeholders are beneficial for understanding possible concerns and tackling them from the standpoints of science and of governance, and to promote informed judgment and engagement. The Muslim world, therefore, has a critical need for close coordination and cooperation between the public and the private sector, both at the stage of identification and solicitation of ideas, as well as at the implementation-stage.
The present level of efforts in science and technology in Muslim countries is much below than desired. It has not fully realized the value of advancement in Science and Technology. The scientific and technological gap between Muslim and the developed countries is widening continuously. The result is an increasing dependency of Muslim countries on the technologically advanced world and a widening technological gap between the two worlds.
The Inter-Islamic Network on Nanotechnology (INN) encourages and supports the interaction and collaboration between the leading institutions, practitioners and intellect of Islamic countries.
The following activities have been planed under this program:

3.2. Two (2) Day International Conference on ‘Perspective of  nano science and
        technology in OIC Member States’                                 Back to Top

The INN plans to convene a two (2) days International Conference on Perspective of Nano Science and Technology in OIC Member States on October 3?4, 2011 at Karaj, Iran. Following are the main focused areas:

  • The current situation of nano science and technology in the Islamic countries.

  • Potentials, needs, and priorities if the OIC countries in the field of nano science and technology.

  • Mechanisms to exchange the existing knowledge and pool of resources in OIC countries.

  • Mechanism of collaboration within OIC countries.

Targeted participants:

  • Representatives and policymakers from OIC countries.

  • Researchers, educators, analysts, instructors in the field of nano science and technology.

  • Nanotechnology business and industry personnel.

4. PROGRAM ? II                                                 Back to Top

Establishment of the INN Computation Portal

4.1. Introduction

High-performance computer simulations based on high quality mathematical and physical modeling are at present a necessary tool to develop new technologies in materials science and to design and produce new nanostructured special and functional materials with tailored physical and chemical properties. This field is essentially multidisciplinary in its methods and applications. Advanced computational methods have been enormously stimulated by the challenges of arising from nanoscale technologies.
Simultaneously, virtual experiments can partially substitute real experiments and so allow saving much time and money necessary for experimental investigations.
The simulation technologies have become also predictive in nature, and many novel concepts and designs have been proposed based on modeling and simulations, and then were followed by their realization or veri?cation through experiments.
The role of computational nanomechanics has become critically important in the cycle of growth and development of nanotechnology, because, as mentioned above, the length and time scales of important nanoscale systems and phenomenon have shrunk to the level, where they can be directly addressed, with high-?delity computer simulations and theoretical modeling. The accuracies in the atomistic and quantum-mechanical methods have increased to the level, whereby simulations have become truly predictive in nature.
INN plans to establish a computation portal to nano-science/technology. This means the cooperative effort of national high-performance computing (HPC) centers, major HPC users and technology providers, to contribute to the development of computational grid infrastructures in the Islamic countries.

4.2.  Cluster Computing                                               Back to Top

Among supercomputing architectures we chose “Parallel Processing”. This kind of supercomputers is being designed by combining many computing machines or processors that split the computing load among themselves in an optimal way. This sort of machine can scale well by incorporating as many new machines or processors with the existing ones.
Thus, parallel processing means clustering of computing machines. There are mainly three types of clustering: Failover clustering is one in which if one machine breaks down in the cluster, automatically any other machine in that cluster will take care of the responsibilities. Load balancing cluster is one in which service requests are routed to different servers in the cluster to offset high load on a particular server. High performance cluster facilitates all the machines in that cluster to work simultaneously to bring better number crunching capabilities. The computing machines connected by multiple high-speed networks, in the cluster share the task in an optimal and efficient way. We plans to use high performance cluster type.

4.3. Supercomputers and Muslim countries

It is of interest to look at the share of OIC member states in the Top500 list. Table 2 shows the number of supercomputers owned by Muslim countries during the last five years. A total of six Muslim countries appear in the list, at one time or another. Unfortunately, only two have managed to survive in the latest compilation of the Top500.
Table 3 shows the total number of Top500 class supercomputers installed in the Muslim world along with the number of such supercomputers in India and China, during the same period. First of all, it is seen that the total number of Top500 supercomputers in the Muslim world has fallen after having peaked in 2003-2004. At present all of the Muslim countries, combined, have only six supercomputers installed. India have eight, and the trend shows a steep increase in numbers. The continuous growth pattern, in the number of supercomputers, demonstrated by China is something that should be a model for the Muslim world to emulate.

Table 2: Share of Muslim countries in Top500 supercomputers

Table 3: Share of Muslim countries, India and China in top500 supercomputers

This information restricted to 2005, and scientists at the Iranian High Performance Computing Research Center at the country's Amirkabir University of Technology have built a supercomputer using 216 AMD Opterons in a Linux cluster. It can manage 860 giga-flops/secs. Also, the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology has taken a small step in the assimilation of this new technology by building a modest cluster based supercomputer for research purposes. This was a research project funded by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. The initial aim was to setup a 40 to 60 giga-flops/secs computing cluster, using forty eight desktop systems and gigabit Ethernet network.
As we are aware majority of these supercomputers are used in the area of oil exploration and reservoir management and are owned by multinationals and have been acquired for their own internal use. The supercomputers are, therefore, not available to Muslim scientists and engineers for their research work especially in the nanotechnology field.
Considering the above scenario, Muslim countries have to take some serious measures in the area of high performance computing. We need to have a clear roadmap with well defined objectives.

4.4. Missions                                                        Back to Top

The missions of program are:

  • Assemble and create a wide suite of robust software that addresses critical issues in the molecular and electronic structure and physical and chemical dynamics of artificial and natural nanoscale structures.

  • Maintain and, where necessary, modify these simulations to address a widening scope of research problems.

  • Provide strong technical support and thorough instruction on the software tools so as to permit even novice users to progress rapidly to the solutions of their own unique research problems.

  • Provide high performance supercomputing environments for dealing with science’s more challenging problems.

  • Capture more physics in the simulation of complex systems.

  • Provide a major effort to develop and deploy distributed scientific applications.

  • Provide web-based graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for user-friendly access to simulation tools as well as web-based resources for instruction and feedback to the community of researchers employing the same tools.

This portal will be open to the academic and industrial research community and provides hardware resources and simulation tools dedicated to nanoscience research. Strong technical and scientific support will be provided by staff experts so that the tools and resources can benefit interdisciplinary research. The software tools include open source software packages for design, characterization and analysis of nanometer scale devices as well as some of the latest academic advances in nanoscale modeling and simulation software.
Critical to the INN/Computation Portal’ effort will be the high level staff support offered at each participating site.? Each site program will feature a Ph.D. level computational research scientist with extensive experience and knowledge of the literature and the computational art who can support, advise, and even collaborate with users at all levels.

4.5.  Structure                                                       Back to Top

Major computation resources, consisting of hardware, software, and most importantly staff support, will be available at Material and Energy Research Center (MERC), Karaj, Iran, but other HPC centers in the Islamic countries are welcome to join in.

4.6. Financial Information


Phase I

Phase II

Phase III


(100 giga-flops/secs)

(200 giga-flops/secs)

(500 giga-flops/secs)

Estimated Cost




5. PROGRAM - III                                                 Back to Top

Training and Capacity Building

5.1. Introduction

Learning, education and training benefit individuals, enterprises and society alike. Education and training make individuals employable, help them gain access to decent work and escape poverty and marginalization. Education and training also improve individuals' productivity and income earning opportunities at work, their mobility in the labors market, and widen their choice of career opportunities.
A critical challenge that faces human society at the start of the twenty-first century is to attain full employment and sustained economic growth in the global economy and social inclusivity.
Nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary field of discovery. Scientists working in physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, information technology, metrology, and other fields are contributing to today's research breakthroughs.

  • The worldwide employees’ necessary to support the field of nanotechnology is expected at 2 million by 2015. How do the Islamic countries educational systems train these workers and how do students choose the proper educational path for their interests?

  • As in other fields, a passion for science is developed while students are young and an introduction to the many facets of nanotechnology will present the basis for future educational opportunities.

  • Curriculum development is beginning. At present, but, only few degree programs in the field are on hand worldwide.

In line with such realizations, the INN plans to introduce a ‘Training and Capacity Building’ program. Under this program, the Network promotes training and capacity building activities of the skilled personnel among OIC member states. It encourages collaboration and cooperation in building human resources and institutional capacity through dialogue, disseminating information, conducting training workshops, schools, capacity building activities and exchange of ideas in selected institutions within the Network member states.
The Network promotes training and capacity building activities of the skilled personnel to promote collaboration and cooperation in building human resources and institutional capacity through dialogue, disseminating information and exchange of ideas in selected institutions within the Network member states.

5.2. One Week Training Course on ‘Instrumentation  and Metrology for Nanotechnology’
                                                                   Back to Top

Instrumentation and metrology are both integral to the emerging nanotechnology enterprise, and have been identified by the INN as critical nanotechnology areas. Instrumentation and metrology are vital to applications in everything from electronics to medicine and crosscut all the INN areas of research and application. Advances in fundamental nanoscience, design of new nanomaterials, and ultimately manufacturing of new nanotechnology-based products will all depend to some degree on the capability to accurately and reproducibly measure properties and performance characteristics at the nanoscale.
The INN plans to convene a one week training course on Instrumentation and Metrology for Nanotechnology on July 16?22, 2012 at Karaj, Iran.
The Course mainly includes the following:

  • Instrumentation and Metrology for Nanocharacterization.

  • Instrumentation and Metrology for Nanomechanics.

  • Instrumentation and Metrology for Nanoelectronics, Nanophotonics and Nanomagnetics.

  • Computational Science Issues in Nanoscale Metrology.

6. PROGRAM ? IV                                                Back to Top

Web Portal of INN

The INN web portal was launched by Material and Energy Research Center on October 27, 2010. The web portal is in the process of continual development and can be accessed at http://www.comstech-nanonet.org
The Information Portal already has and more content is being added on the following subjects:

  • Status of OIC States

  • Education

  • esearch

  • Industry

  • Infrastructure

  • Commercialization

  • Events

  • Newsletter

  • Discussion and news groups

7. PROGRAM ? V                                                 Back to Top


The Network plans to launch an E-Journal for publication of quality research articles/papers through web. It was agreed that the Web Portal maintained by the Network would be an excellent medium for hosting the E-Journal.