Palestine is on its way to achieving political independence and economic development. Due to its limited natural resources, economic and social development in Palestine must heavily invest in knowledge-based industries. By knowledge-based industry, we mean industry that relies on advanced technology and research, rather than natural resource extraction.
Nanotechnology and advanced materials R&D activity are cornerstones in establishing a knowledge-based industry, and Palestine is no exception. To achieve such a goal, there is a strong need to establish a Center of Excellence in Materials and Nanotechnology in Palestine. An-Najah University has made practical and logistic steps to establish and host CEMSANT.
In accordance with ANU's mission, CEMSANT undertakes the mission of catalyzing the transfer of advanced technology to Palestine. CEMSANT aims at achieving scientific, technological, educational and training goals. Both basic and applied research activities are involved. CEMSANT hosts Palestinian faculties, industrialists and students to research on preparation, characterization and application of advanced- and nano-materials. Activities are designed in such a way to meet the most urgent priorities demanded by Palestinian society, such as energy, water, environment and health.
The Centre aspires to be a beacon in the region with a special value for Palestine and the University by achieving the following objectives:
- Providing necessary steps on the road to establishing a knowledge-based industry in Palestine.
- Providing an opportunity for interdisciplinary research at the University where professors and graduate students join together.
- Promoting mutual collaboration with researchers from other Palestinian and regional universities.
- Enabling Palestinian universities to undertake studies to benefit Palestinian society, NGO’s and private industry (e.g. water research, solar energy, materials quality testing, pharmaceuticals, hospital supplies, construction materials, soil, health, agriculture,…. ).
- Encouraging and solidifying graduate studies at Palestinian universities in addition to the establishment of graduate studies in areas of nanotechnology.
- By housing high-quality research, the Center provides services to Palestinian society that are not available at this stage.
- Fostering quality education and training in Palestine, where University students (both graduate and undergraduate levels) together with high school students will directly benefit from the Center. Spreading common knowledge among school students and the public in Palestine about nanotechnology is a main goal.
Due to the multidisciplinary nature of the Center (as described herein), which serves different colleges at ANU and delivers services to different universities and sectors from Palestine, the Center is linked directly with the ANU President. The Center is managed by a Steering Committee, as shown in the Scheme below. To get more advice and guidance, and to strengthen its collaborative network, CEMSANT receives direct advice from its Consultation Board which includes prominent scientists and figures from different Palestinian, Arab and international institutes.
CEMSANT is mainly research-oriented, and is non-profit oriented. It sustains itself through:
- Partial charges for services to be provided.
- Writing up competent proposals to gain research funding.
- Successfully submitting joint project proposals.
- Deductions from research budgets allocated to researchers.
CEMSANT is accessible to faculties and graduate students from An-Najah National University and all other Palestinian universities and institutions, according to the laws and regulations of An-Najah National University. The Center is a nucleus for Palestinian interdisciplinary research, such as earth sciences, biological sciences, health, environment, engineering, energy and others. Access to the Center and its facilities is arranged through arrangement with its Superintendent.
- First and foremost, An-Najah National University benefits by improving its academic and research standing.
- Faculty and graduate students from different departments at An-Najah National University.
- Graduate students and faculties from other Palestinian universities.
- Governmental and non-governmental institutions in Palestine.
- The private industrial sector.
- Education, health, agriculture, environment and other sectors.
Starting its activities with minimal costs, CEMSANT has fit perfectly well within Faculty of Sciences and Faculty of Graduate Studies. Research students from the Faculty of Sciences are hosted by CEMSANT. The Faculty gave all possible logistic, lab and technical help to CEMSANT. In return, CEMSANT made Faculty research activities more efficient in terms of cost and time. Students from other Faculties (such as Pharmacy) are starting to use CEMSANT facilities. The ambitions of CEMSANT are to expand such synergic relations to include other faculties and other universities. Such goals will be achieved after expanding CEMSANT research equipments.
It is housed at ANNU for many reasons:
- Research activities, in the areas of materials science and technology, have been established since 1987. Research on materials chemistry and materials physics is active here and many papers have been published. Examples of such studies are: semiconductor research, thin film deposition, water research and environmental studies.
- ANU, with its new campus, has enough facilities to house CEMSANT. The new laboratories include new advanced equipment useful in materials study.
- ANU houses many Centers (Central Medical Laboratory, Chemical, Biological & Drug Analysis Centre, Construction & Transportation Center, Earth Sciences & Seismic Engineering Center, Energy Research Center, Water & Environmental Study Institute and others) with sound, advanced equipment. Such equipment is available to help the Center in its early establishing stages.
- ANU houses many graduate study programs, including the M.Sc. in Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Biology, Clean Energy, Engineering, and others. A Ph.D. program in Chemistry is also available. The graduate study programs have shown remarkable success, in at least one aspect: The average papers published in respectable journals based on each thesis is higher than one paper. This ratio gives a solid foundation for the success of the Center.
- The University accommodates research scientists and engineers who can lead in new materials research.
- ANU researchers have gained many competitive prizes for their achievements in water, agriculture, energy, health and environment.
- ANU has effectively gained research funding by writing up successful proposals and getting research funding. This enables ANU to financially help the Center to sustain itself.
- ANU houses the Semiconductor & Solar Energy Research Laboratory (SSERL) which successfully undertakes research in different areas of solar energy such as photovoltaics, water purification, disinfection, and others, using semiconductor nano-particles.