Iran promoting 'Islamic Nobel Prize'

To reward Muslim scientists in the world and the Med region

10 March, 18:24

    (by Rodolfo Calò) (ANSAmed) - TEHRAN, MARCH 10 - The presentation of what has been dubbed the 'Islamic Nobel Prize' for science and technology was held on Monday in the Iranian capital's Pardis Technological Park. The Mustafa Science and Technology Prize, in honor of one of the 201 names (''the chosen one'') of Prophet Mohamed, aims to encourage scholars from Muslim countries and those of the south-eastern Mediterranean to promote and elevate their works. The prize intends to create a ''platform'' for scientists and specialists to present their latest works and to increase scientific and technological collaboration in the Islamic world.

    The prize includes 500,000 dollars, a medal and a certificate, and will be given by Pardis in three sectors: life sciences and medicine, nanosciences and nanotechnology, and information and communication technologies. A fourth prize, for the Best Muslim Scientist, will also be assigned. For the first three categories, the candidates will have to be citizens of a Muslim country, while to compete for the fourth the scientist must simply be a Muslim. There will be 257 universities, academies, research centers and technological parks conducting the pre-selection, a list of which is available on the prize website (www.mustafaprize.org).

    The deadline to submit candidatures to these institutes for the first edition of the prize is June 14. The awards ceremony will take place between January 4-9 and will be flanked by a series of events, including a five-day 'Islamic Nations Festival of Science and Technology'. The label 'Islamic Nobel Prize' was used on Monday by Pardis director Mehdi Safarinia, who underscored that Muslim scientists are often underestimated but deserve recognition for their ''excellent work''.

    To a question asked by ANSAmed during the press conference on the scientific potential of the Mediterranean in relation to the award and the message that the committee promoting the initiative would like to launch to the region, it was said that ''there are Mediterranean countries that are Muslim: we would like the media to inform them'' and for the scientists of these nations ''to take part in this event''.

    The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) - the ''largest credit institute in the Islamic world'' - will be funding the construction and maintenance of a building in Iran to house the Mustafa Prize. (ANSAmed).

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