The first International Nanotechnology Olympiad (INO) was held on April 10-16, 2018 in Pardis Technology Park, Tehran, Iran. The first day of INO started with an opening ceremony in which Dr. Ali Beitollahi, head of INO steering committee, alongside other members introduced the INO and the reason behind why the committee selected water and environment as the main theme for the competition. Then, the structure of the competion and important rules and regulations were presented by Mr. Ali Marjovi who also surved as a judge in this event.

The first educational workshop was held by Dr. Ali Beitollahi and Dr. Andrea Haase where they spoke about Safety, Standardization and Regulatory aspects of Nanoproducts. The workshop was followed by a tour at Pardis Technology Park where the participants became familiar with various startup companies in the park.

The second day of the event started with another interesting workshop on Cultivating Creative Characters; let's make a world pleasant with extraordinary imagination by Dr. Kyung-Ho Shin. He spoke about the importance of creativity and how to become more creative. The next workshop was on Environmental aspects of nanotechnology application which was instructed by Dr. Andrea Haase and Dr. Arno Gutleb. The main point of this workshop was about introducing the many applications of nanotechnology in solving environmental challenges.

One of the most intereting part of the event was the mixed team challenge. This activity was organized to provide participants with a sense of structured teamwork and create new networks. Members of the 9 teams were randomly divided into 4 teams where each team had to design a small scaled startup. At the end of the 4 hour session, every team had a chance to present their ideas. The winner was then selected based on the how other teams evaluated their proposal. After this session, the teams had the rest of the day to get ready for the Demo day.

Third day of the INO event started with a workshop on business model and pitching presented by Kaveh Yazdivard. In this part, the participants learned about the business model canvas and how they should present their ideas to investors and Venture Capitals. Then, there was a tour of Tehran and the participating teams visited Golestan palace.

The first workshop on the fourth day of INO was a panel discussion on Nano-product Commercialization. During this session, two successful Iranian nanotechnology company representatives (Parsa Polymer Sharif and Fanavaran Nano Meghyas) spoke about their success stories. This session was moderated by Mr. Ali Marjovi, Mr. Kaveh Yazdifard, and Mr. Boris Stepanov. Next program was dedicated to a workshop on intellectual property and the importance of patent laws for startups. This workshop was then followed by the Technical Demo session where all teams presented the technical aspects of their idea. Each team had 10 minutes to present and 15 minutes to answer the judges’ questions.

The fifth day of the event was dedicated to Business Demo where teams presented their startup idea, their market, business model, prospective costs, and their team structure. Like Technical Demo, they had 10 minutes to present and 15 minutes to answer the judges’ questions.

When all teams presented their ideas, they went for another tour in Tehran. This time, they visited Tajrish Bazar and then dined in Lavasan. While participants were on tour, the steering committee and the judges discussed the results of the competition and selected the winners.

During the closing ceremony, the winners of each category was announced. For innovation, the South Korean team won 2000 euros for their idea on valley qubit at room temperature. In the business category, the Iranian team won 2000 euros for their idea on removing chromium from leather company’s waste water. In the science and technology category, the Malaysian team won 2000 euros for their idea on Nano PFTF membrane. Finally, the participating team from Taiwan won 3000 euros as the best overall project for their idea on Nature-inspired Omniphobic Membranes and Photocatalysts Design towards a Near-Zero Liquid Discharge (N-ZLD).