HCIE National Forum Brings Palestinian Scientists Together
The Higher Council for Innovation & Excellence (HCIE), an IFIA member representing Palestine, organized its Second National Forum for Scientists under the patronage of the President of Palestine Mr. Mahmoud Abbas on July 22, & 23, 2017.
The forum brought 30 Palestinian scientists from Palestine including the Palestinian Community in the 1948 territories, the Diaspora and the Palestinian universities and research centers together with 200 innovators, 15 local startups and incubators, 70 organizations. For two days in a row, the participants came together in the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) headquarters in Ramallah to visualize applied science solutions that can be deployed and adapted to solve local problems as well as improve Palestine’s fragile economy, namely in the sectors of renewable energy, environmental science, health and medicine, pharmaceuticals and medicinal herbs, biomedical technology, biodiversity and agricultural production as well as innovation in education. The main topics covered by scientists were:
- Microalgae Cultivation for Production of High-Value Products in Arid Lands
- Vertical Farming for Sustainable Food Security
- Recent innovations and advances in solar energy and related technologies
- Investigation of nutritional value and usability of Halophytic species
- Treatment of municipal solid waste stabilized leachate using persulfate-based advanced oxidation processes
- Water contamination monitoring and treatment
- The Future of Energy Management in Palestine
- Development of human and mouse sperm-like cells in vitro using a novel three-dimension (3D) culture systems
- Utility of in silico techniques for accelerating drug discovery process
- Molecular surfaces for optoelectronic applications, Hybrid Si Nanowires for Optoelectronic Applications
- Innovative methods for biogas upgrading
While celebrating Palestinian scientists, the forum provided a platform for scientists, innovators, businessmen and decision makers to network and exchange knowledge and information. The forum activities included organizing an opening ceremony, 6 specialized sessions where 30 scientists presented and discussed innovative solutions to real Palestinian problems, as well as an exhibition section that showcased 82 innovative ideas, projects and startups. The side activities included organizing field visits for the participating scientist to various institutions to encourage future cooperation, such as the Arab Specialized Hospital in Nablus city.
As a gesture of encouragement and personal involvement, H.E. President Mahmoud Abbas invited to his office the forum organizers and participating scientists and stressed the important role that the HCIE forum can have in building the future Palestinian state. On a negative note however, the forum was held during a period of political unrest in Jerusalem city, which prevented many participants from attending.. The continuing blockade and imposed restrictions on Gaza have denied access to over 70 participants.