In developing countries, male and female scientists do not necessarily have access to well-equipped infrastructure and lack resources for gaining knowledge and hands-on experience in nanoscience and nanotechnology application areas, nanoscale materials synthesis, cleanroom micro/nanodevice-processing and process optimization, and cleanroom processing. This could hinder the advancement of technology and research in their countries.
Towards a Solution
To address the above challenge, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Turkey’s National Nanotechnology Research Centre (UNAM), Bilkent University, Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and the Turkish Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology (MoSIT) are supporting training programmes to present and advance the knowledge and understanding of male and female participants from selected developing countries in the area of nanoscience and nanotechnology application. The programme aims to contribute to building the critical mass required to guide materials and device processing know-how and nanotechnology development in developing and/or transition countries. Moreover, the programme helps to form a network among participants and serves as a way for participants to collaborate and share knowledge.
The programme aims to deliver theoretical and practical training on three important aspects and applications of nanoscience and nanotechnology: (i) growth and synthesis of functional nanoscale materials (advanced training); (ii) nanotechnology solutions for water filtration (Intermediate training); and, (iii) nanobiotechnology and nanomedicine (advanced training). All workshop programmes will include practical laboratory sessions for related materials synthesis and device fabrication projects.
The programme has led to the systemic cross-country transfer of good practices and knowledge among Iran, Turkey, and Yemen, for their mutual benefit to overcome the challenges of nanotechnology, an advanced technology that is difficult for developing countries to access information on. Participants from Iran and Yemen contributed to establishing nanotechnology centres in their own countries. Within the programme and training, leading scholars from top universities and research centres from countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States of America are invited to present their technology solutions regarding the nanotechnology topics selected in a given year. The outcome is to strengthen skills and understanding of the subject that will improve male and female participants’ expertise in nanoscale science and technology, including in functional materials and device processing. This helps them to network among themselves for future collaboration and to establish a collaborative environment with UNAM where participating countries can carry out their nanotechnology projects and ideas to achieve SDG target 9 and SDG target 4. The programme’s main success is that it has exposed scientists from developing countries to cutting-edge science and technology in various subfields of nanoscience and nanotechnology.
Building on the success of the 2010, 2012-2014 and 2015-2017 series of nanotechnology and cleanroom training workshop programmes, in cooperation with the Government of the Republic of Turkey, the project plans to organize another workshop programme series for the 2018-2023. Hence, this project is an extension of the previous training programme and is sustainable and replicable.