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Arab Nobel nominee calls for Arab nanotechnology cooperation

KUN0017 4 GEN 0540 FRANCE /AFP -HFF9 SCI-KUWAIT-NANO Arab Nobel nominee calls for Arab nanotechnology cooperation By Muntaha Al-Fadhli KUWAIT, Nov 11 (KUNA) -- Arab physicist and Nobel Physics Prize nominee Dr. Mohammad El-Naschie called on Saturday upon Kuwait, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia to form a nanotechnology authority as a scientific-economic model for the region. Speaking to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), El-Naschie, who works at the Frankfurt Institute of Advanced Studies and is a distinguished fellow of the Frankfurt Association for the Advancement of Fundamental Research in Physics, said, "There is still time for Arabs to follow suit after developed countries in this field." The professor, who was taking part in "Kuwait 1st Nano Technology Conference" organized by Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) under the patronage of Amiri Diwan Affairs Minister Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, said Arab states had the required human resources and skills. He explained that nanotechnology was the fifth generation of electronics related to physics, chemistry, and biology, and that it was involved in all industries such as medicine, electronics, engineering, and even in the production of oil, foodstuff, and in construction. Nanoscience and nanotechnology is a branch of science and engineering devoted to the design, production, study of, and work with matter on an ultra-small scale. One nanometer is one-millionth of a millimeter and a single human hair is around 80,000 nanometers in width. This is the grey area between classical and quantum mechanics and often involves physics, chemistry, biology and other branches of science. El-Naschie called for cooperation between the public and private sectors in order to facilitate the three stages of scientific research: understanding what was on hand, imitating it, and then incorporating innovation and creativity. Imitation, he said, was implemented by China, while creativity was associated with the Western countries and Japan. Many Arab countries had yet to complete the first stage, he said. As for the greatest obstacle faced by the Arab world, the professor said it was the lack of scientific management and policies that encouraged scientific research. He commended Kuwait for its support for scientific research in general, noting that it allocated four percent of its GDP on this field which reflected its keenness for scientific advancement. The US in comparison allocated three percent, he said. El-Naschie stressed that nano-technological advancement would serve toward the advancement of the Arab region, whether it be in medicine, environment, renewable energy sources, or production. The one-day KISR conference was organized in cooperation with Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) and other sponsors. Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) was established in 1967 and came directly under the Cabinet. Its main objectives are to carry out applied scientific research, especially related to industry, energy, agriculture, and the national economy, to contribute to the economic and social development of the state, and to advise the Government on the country's scientific research policy.(end) mf.ema KUNA 111222 Nov 06NNNN