The second edition of the Science and Technology Exchange Program among Muslim Countries (STEP) has seen its closing ceremony in the Malaysian city of Putrajaya. The event was organized jointly by the Mustafa(pbuh) Science and Technology Foundation (MSTF) and the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
MSTF Media reports:
A night of tears and hopes in one of the largest scientific gathering by Muslims;
The Science and Technology Exchange Program among Muslim Countries (STEP) has come to an end at the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), where 180 Muslim researchers, scholars and faculty members and 30 scientists from Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Jordan, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Singapore, and Turkey gathered for five days to meet and exchange views on ways to tackle the challenges facing R&D in the Muslim world.
The program included panels, round table discussions, workshops and speeches under the titles of the Scientific and Technological Collaborations among Islamic Countries, Creation of Environment for Discovery and Creativity at Universities and Research Institutes and Issues Related to Publishing High Impact Scientific Articles.
Professor Noor Mohammad Butt, a Physicist from Pakistan, described the event as a “rare” chance for Muslims to think of ways to “develop and enhance the level of scientific activities in Muslim countries.”
The closing ceremony saw the reading of a Joint Statement by Prof. Yaghi, the 2015 Mustafa(pbuh) Prize laureate.
“We acknowledge the vision of MSTF for furthering the S&T agenda of the Islamic World and for awarding the Mustafa(pbuh) Prize to eminent scientists,” the Statement read.
This part of the Statement refers to the biennial Mustafa(pbuh) Awards Ceremony launched by the MSTF in a bid to recognize the achievements of Muslim scientists. Professor Omar Yaghi from Jordan and Professor Jackie Ying from Singapore, who were the winners of the 2015 Mustafa(pbuh) Prize, delivered speeches and chaired workshops during the STEP forum.
“The two laureates have shared their scientific experiences during the STEP forum, which could help other Muslim scientists to overcome the existing obstacles,” said Vice Chancellor of the UPM, Professor Aini Ideris, in an interview with MSTF Media.
As explained by the organizers, the ultimate goal of the event is to “provide a platform for scientific exchange and synergy” among Muslim countries with the hope of increasing the scientific output in Muslim nations.
According to the Joint Statement, the delegates agreed to create “on-line hub to be an enabling platform for S&T collaborations and give access to best practices among Islamic countries.”
They also decided to create an endowment whose purpose is to fund activities that go “beyond the present level of competence.”
“We need to focus on scientific activities that address the big issues of Muslim nations including water purification and desalination, renewable energies and so on,” said Professor Sarkar, speaking to MSTF media.
The delegates also encouraged the MSTF to continue holding the STEP on a regular basis each time hosted by a different Muslim country.
“The success of this [STEP] meeting encouraged us to setup the second STEP meeting in another Islamic country to be determined”, read the Statement in an expression of satisfaction with the way the STEP was held.
The STEP forum began on December 19th. On December 23rd, the delegates will take a scientific tour at the UPM.
Here’s the full text of the Joint Statement read during the Closing Ceremony: