First sparkles of nanotechnology in Iran were lit in 2001, and nanotechnology strategic studies began by the command of the former Iranian president. Two years after the beginning of the studies, Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council was established in 2003. The Council prepared a nanotechnology strategic plan for the next two years, and it handed the plan over to the cabinet. The plan was approved in 2005 by the cabinet. Policies and strategic plans for the improvement and development of nanotechnology were approved in 2006. Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council created various workgroups for the
development of nanotechnology, among which mention can be made of Industry and Market Workgroup, Tech-Market Services Corridor, Nano-technology Development Workgroup, Human Resources Development Workgroup, Technology Infrastructures Workgroup, Promotion and Culture-making Workgroup, International Affairs Workgroup, and Policy-making and Evaluation Workgroup.
It is a ten-year plan that started in 2005 and ends in 2014. Programs in the plan are classified in the three sections of short term (2005-2007), mid-term (2008-2010), and long term (2011-2014) programs. Nanotechnology strategic plan for the next ten years is being devised at the moment, and it includes the period between 2015 to 2025.
The main goal of the first ten-year strategic plan is the production of wealth and improving life quality of the people. One of the major mis-sions in the plan is that Iran must be among the top 15 countries by 2014. To this end, various strategic programs have been considered in the plan to develop human resources, production of science, development and innovation development, and finally the production and commercialization of products and the presentation of the products to the international mar-kets.
The number of publications has been used as an indicator to assess capabilities of countries in a technology. The Figure 3 represents the number of nanotechnology articles published by Iranian scientists between 2001-2014.
Figure 3. Number of nanotechnology publications in Iran
ACTIVE INSTITUTES AND UNIVERSITIES IN NANOTECHNOLOGY
Table 9. Active institutes and universities in nanotechnology in Iran
As can be seen, amongst all institutes and universities in Iran, “Univ Tehran” has published the highest number of scientific nanotechnology articles.
HOT SUBJECT AREAS
Table 14. Hot subject areas in nanotechnology articles in Iran
MOST ACTIVE UNIVERSITIES AND INSTITUTES IN NANO-TECHNOLOGY
In this section, some information about five top institutes which have the highest number of publications (departments, facilities, research centers and the like) is introduced.
IRAN NANOTECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE COUNCIL (INIC)
Iran has recognized the significance of nanotechnology like other pioneering countries and started its activities in line with development of the technology. In this regard and as the first step, a Study Committee for Nanotechnology in Iran began its activities in 2001 and finally Iran Nano-technology Initiative Council (INIC) was established in the country in 2003. The INIC is tasked with determining the general policies for the development of nanotechnology in the country and pursuing the case with implementation of the policies. Iran’s success in achieving a proper place among 15 countries which are advanced in nanotechnology and making attempt to promote the position in a bid to develop Iran’s economy are the main missions of INIC.
Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council is seeking to pave the ground for activity of the private sector and production of wealth within the society through adopting outlook, providing facilities, creating market and re-moving the existing problems.
• Approving goals, strategies, macro-scale policies and national initiatives for development of the nanotechnology in the country.
• Description of the general tasks for governmental bodies and de-termination of missions for each sector and make coordination among them within the framework of a long term national plan.
• Supreme supervision in realization of goals and programs.
IRAN NANOTECHNOLOGY LABORATORY NETWORK (INLN)
The Nanotechnology Laboratory Network started its work in 2004 with the aim of creating a proper ground for presenting laboratory services to the university and industrial researchers and optimum use of Iran’s laboratory potentials. Since then, about 42 laboratory complexes (from more than 120 applicant centers) were accepted as the definite members of the network and now a number of important laboratory complexes from the governmental and private sectors in 11 provinces and 12 important cities of Iran are under the supervision of the network.
• Providing services by the network to the researchers and industries by informing through the network’s website (At present, the information related to more than 700 member and non-member centers of the network and also the characteristics of more than 500 laboratory equipment are available for the experts via the network’s web-site);
• Periodical evaluation and ranking of member laboratories and providing support for them;
• Supporting the performance of training workshops.
• Supporting the repair, upgrade and manufacture of laboratory equipment;
• Supporting the member centers to gain ISO/IEC17025 standard;
• Presenting council services to the laboratory centers for the optimum purchase and keeping of equipment;
• Publication of the information on the capabilities, plans, equipment and facilities of the laboratories in the network’s website;
TECH-MARKET SERVICES CORRIDOR (TMSC)
Commercialization of emerging technologies is a complex and high-risk process. This would entail an increase in lead time of technology/product development, wealth creation and a reduction in their success in market-place. Scientific studies in the field of technology management illustrate that successful commercialization of emerging technologist is possible through increasing capabilities of high-tech companies as well as facilitating their access to commercialization services such as international product standards, marker research, technology monitoring, and technical feasibility studies. These services would be defined in a “Technology Development Services” framework.
Tech-Market Services Corridor was established in order to reduce the lead time of commercialization process for high-tech companies as well as increase their success rate. In nutshell, by identifying and assessing the technology development and high-tech commercialization needs, Corridor simplifies fulfilling them for companies. Corridor would also act in agreement with other organizations under the specific framework to help companies by providing commercialization services.
Corridor commercialization services are structured as an interconnected chain of 16 service stations. Corridor has a 4 fold approach to deliver these services:
1- Assessment Services – These services are delivered to applicant in form of product/technology evaluation and verification in each field of technology. The customized roadmap of technology/product then will be determined by Corridor’s professional experts.
2- Facilitating access to Commercialization services – One of the Corridor’s duties is to facilitate access to high quality services as well as assuring the quality. In addition Corridor helps companies in absorbing financial support from governmental organization.
3- Intellectual property Services – IP issues are one of the crucial infrastructures in technology development process. Iran Patent Office in Corridor help companies in national/ international patent and trademark registration, preparing tech monitoring reports, patent analysis as well as technology pricing issues.
4- Export facilitating Services- Tech Export Services Corridor (TESC) in Corridor facilitates the export process for Iranian manufacturers by providing services in the areas of marketing, consultancy, and international alliances.
UNIVERSITY OF TEHRAN
University of Tehran, is the oldest and largest scientific, educational and research center of the country which is called the “Mother University” and the “Symbol of higher education of the country”. This scientific center is the entering gate of Iran into the new civilization. It is also considered as one of the pioneers of the society in important scientific, cultural, political and social affairs. It is such that besides its old role in political and social changes of the country, its remarkable impact in the scientific-cultural development of the society is also undeniable. With regard to the critical mission and heavy responsibility towards the country and the exalted Iranian nation as well and also for the purpose of flourishing the potential talents of the country at the high level of human knowledge and adapting its programs with the necessities and facilities of the country, this university makes efforts to play a specific role in the construction of the country and achieve the glorious scientific –industrial dynamic and sustainable peaks.
RELEVANT DEPARTMENTS AND RESEARCH CENTERS
• Biomaterials Research Center
• Biochemistry & Biophysics Research Center
• Institute of Petroleum Engineering
• Vehicle, Fuel and Environment Research Institute
• New Sciences and Technologies
• Veterinary Medicine
SHARIF UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
The university was first founded in 1965 with the name Aryamehr Technical University by Dr. Mohammad Ali Mojtahedi. At that time, there were 54 faculty members and a total of 412 students who were selected by national examination. Also only four departments were established: Electrical, Metallurgical, Mechanical, and Chemical Engineering. Currently the university has grown to an elite school with over 9000 stu-dents, 700 of whom are studying for a doctorate, and over 500 faculty members in 15 main departments.
RELEVANT DEPARTMENTS AND RESEARCH CENTERS
• Chemical Engineering & Petroleum
• Civil Engineering
• Industrial Engineering
• Materials Science and Engineering
• Mechanical Engineering
• Institute for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Institute for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (INST) is a multidisciplinary inter university center, organizing the Nanotechnology research activities in Sharif University of Technology and conducts PhD programs to train students with multidisciplinary knowledge of the subject. INST intends to be the hub of nanotechnology in the country and has the mission of promoting nanotechnology in the university and in the country by providing a network of researchers from various disciplines and support-ing activities that are related to Nanotechnology.
INST was founded in 2005 as an independent center in the university after about two years of study on its mission. This organization, now, includes faculty members from various departments like Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. The PhD program started in October 2005 by admitting 14 students with Physics, Electrical Engineering, Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering backgrounds. INST is growing with a rapid pace and in the first step has been assigned as a "Center of Excellence" (CoE) in the field of nanostructures.
NUMBER OF REGISTERED PATENTS
Iran published 43 patents between 2000-2015 based on USPTO database.
Figure 4. Iran nanotechnology USPTO patents classification in industries
Figure 5. Iran USPTO granted patents in field of nanotechnology
Figure 6. Iran EPO granted patents in field of nanotechnology
Figure 7. Iran EPO published patents in field of nanotechnology
Figure 8. Iran USPTO published patents in field of nanotechnology