- The Mustafa Prize
In the Name of the Almighty
1- The Mustafa Prize
In regards to appreciation of prominent scientists and providing the grounds for scientific cooperation and development worldwide, the Mustafa Prize was established in 2012 as one of the symbols of admiration and scientific excellence at international level.
This Prize is dedicated biennially to the outstanding works of top scientists and researchers around the world whose works would place a dramatic impact on the quality of the lives of the human beings. The laureates in each section are awarded a total of $500,000 which is financed through the Science and Technology Endowments. They will also be adorned with the Mustafa Medal and a Diploma.
The first round of the Mustafa Prize was celebrated in 2015, covered four different fields namely, “Nanoscience and Nanotechnology”, “Life Sciences and Medicine”, “Information and Communication Technology” and “Top Scientific Achievement in other fields”. The Prize laureates were admired in December 2015 in Tehran with more than 60 participants from 25 countries including prominent scientists, researchers and leading figures in the area of science and technology. The IDB President from KSA, The IAS President from Jordan, The COMSTECH Coordinator General, ECOSF President from Pakistan and Director General of IRCICA from Turkey were among the special guests.
The program was warmly welcomed by Iranian scientists and H.E. Dr. Sattari, Iranian Vice-President for Science and Technology stated in his speech: “The Mustafa Prize is seeking to revive the great 12 centuries Islamic civilization in science and technology and as we hopefully seek to achieve this objective we will ensure a scientific glory within the World of Islam followed by strong will and sustainable security for a healthy and effective society”. Also H.E. Dr. Farhadi, Minister of Science, Research and Technology, stated: “The time has come to elevate the great status of researchers and scientists coupled by the great name of the Prize and to promote the science and technology position through religious and national will”. H.E. Dr. Salehi, Former Deputy Secretary General of OIC and President of Atomic Energy Organization also mentioned: “The Mustafa Prize is not seeking to compete with any prize such as the Nobel but it is rather endeavoring to revive the golden scientific era of the World of Islam”.
H.E. Dr. Shaukat Hameed Khan, COMSTECH Coordinator General who represented OIC Secretary General at the award ceremony also said: “We must proceed the path of science and technology development and this attempt should also occur in the Muslim countries of the region as well as at international level”.
H.E. Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, IDB President also stated: “I would like to express my sincere congratulations to the leadership and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran for this very great, enjoyable and marvelous achievement and pray Allah to reward all who contributed and participated in bringing the idea of this prize and those who are implementing it and those who are supporting this very important Prize.”
This Prize is named after one of the titles of the Holy Prophet of Islam for his due emphasis on seeking knowledge “Mustafa” meaning “Selected”. The Prize intends to introduce and appreciate the works of top scientists from the Islamic World and to promote science and technology in order to enhance the health, security and welfare of human beings.
The idea of the Mustafa Prize was initiated in 2012 and the Policymaking Council that is responsible for adopting strategies and governing principles over the Prize, took charge of this global event through the collaboration of faculty members and scientific institutions affiliated to OIC. The Pardis Technology Park also set up the Prize Secretariat as the organizer of the Prize.
The Mustafa Prize was established in accordance with international standards following the review of 300 science and technology prizes. More than 200 scientific centers and academia worldwide have cooperation with the Prize Secretariat as nominating institutions. After the initial evaluation of works, the final selection is conducted by scientific committees composed of prominent scientists from around the world in each field of the Prize, according to the following criteria:
- Distinguished feature of the work
- Influence of the work
2- The 2015 Prize Laureates
Professor Jackie Ying, Executive Director of Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore was selected for the 2015 Prize in the field of Bio Nanotechnology for her remarkable work on “Stimuli-Responsive Systems for Controlled Drug Delivery” and Professor Omar Yaghi from Jordan, Co-Director of the Kavli Energy NanoScience Institute at Berkeley was selected for the 2015 Prize in the field of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology for his unique work on “Porous Metal Organic Frameworks”. The Prize laureates described their works in several meetings at Tehran University, Tarbiat Modares University, Iran Academy of Sciences and Red Crescent Society, and IAS Conference which was held in Tehran for its annual meeting.
3- The Mustafa Prize Funding
The funding for the Prize is non-governmental. With regards to the fact that a large sector of global scientific institutes has been formed through public funding leading to their independence and sustainability in their policies hence, the funding for the Prize is also maintained through scientific endowments and public benefactors.
Following methods are pursued for financing the Prize:
- The Mustafa Prize Investment and Endowment Fund
This fund is established with the primary budget of 50 Billion Rials with the aim of turning it into one of the biggest investment funds for science and technology development at World level.
The Fund intends to achieve the goals of the Prize as well as provide the grounds for science and technology development in line with raising the quality of the life of people through reliance on the enormous social capital at international level, through public funding who are willing to take part in this lofty attempt.
The Prize Fund pursues two main missions:
ü Provide the costs of the Prize
ü Investment and support of science and technology development at global level in particular in areas related to the Prize fields.
- Joint investment with IDB
Based on the IDB recommendations, the joint plan for construction of a trade center together with public collaborations has been initiated. A plot of land has been allocated from Iran Pasteur Institute for building this trade center and it has been decided to erect a trade center through IDB funding.
There is a chance for every individual, legal and real entities to contribute to the Mustafa Prize at global level and in this regard a global medal titled “Khadim-ul Mustafa” registered in more than 90 countries, will be dedicate to the benefactors. The first round of awarding the medal to them, will be held in Tehran in March 2016.
4- Media Coverage on the Mustafa Prize
More than 320 news and interviews were on footage covering the Mustafa Prize ceremony in more than 280 dailies, the press and media and international websites from more than 20 countries including 31 US media such as Daily News, Nano Tech, World News, Express Global News, 22 Asian media including Asia One, Pakistan Today, Muslim Science, Strait Times Singapore, Asian Scientists, 6 European Media, including Publizist Russia, Frog Heart, Kooperation, Islamic Invitation Turkey and also 26 Arabic speaking media, such as Al-Nihar, Al-Raie, Al-Menar, Al-Wefagh, Shafaghnan Saudia and AlFurat reflecting the news on the Prize laureates as well meetings held on the works of the laureates.
Moreover, the news about the details of the ceremony was uploaded in university websites and scientific magazines around the world the most important of which were Science, publishing an article on this topic entitled, “Iran creates Muslim Nobels”. Berkeley, Princeton, John Hopkins, COMSATS also made a news coverage on this event.
It is noteworthy to mention that the second round of the Mustafa Prize will be held in December 2017. The call for the second round can be reached through the following website: www.mustafaprize.org
In the second round, five Prizes composed of 3 special fields including Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Life Sciences and Medicine, Information and Communication Technology, will be presented to the laureates selected from nominees who have citizenship from one of the Islamic countries but will not be restricted to gender, age and religion. The last two Prizes will be dedicated to Muslim nominees from every scientific field regardless of gender and age. The nomination should take place through one of the reputable universities or renowned scientists.