Human resources with Nanoscience and nanotech knowledge, and required skills for applying this knowledge into practice are a key factor in building future of nanotechnology development. Provision of necessary educations through scientific competitions can have a great impact on the development of the needed human resources. There are a few success stories in this regard. Iran Nano Initiative Council (INIC) from ther early days of its establishment, has put great emphasis on this matter and has run 7 National Nano Olympiad since 2009. Similar schemes also have been implemented in some other countries such as Russia, Taiwan, and Korea.
In the ANF interim meeting in Tokyo on Jan. 2016 INIC proposed to host an international event co-organized with ANF with the aim that all interested countries from Asia and elsewhere could share their experiences and come up with a plan for the establishment of an international nanotechnology competition. The International Forum on Nano Olympiad was held in 17-19th May 2016 in Tehran, Iran. The result of that event and several other meetings and follow up was holding the first International Nanotechnology Olympiad (INO) in 10 – 15 April 2018 in Iran, Tehran. In a later stage, the EU Commission's Research & Innovation DG expressed her interest to join and contribute to this event by nominally EU representative to the steering committee.
International Nanotechnology Olympiad (INO) is a competition among university students from different participating countries being held annually in member economies. Participants propose their competitive ideas and plans as nanotechnology-based solutions for problems related to global challenges.
EU, Iran, Malaysia, Russia, South Korea and Taiwan are the first event’s participant economies. The Thematic focus of the first INO is challenges related to water and wastewater. The competition aims at motivating university students to practice their knowledge and skills in solving real-world challenges, hopefully enabling startup teams and creating a global network of students and experts.