PAKISTAN IS set to witness a new era of research activities at the university level as the United States has announced new funding for Pakistani researchers universities so that they can turn their research into commercially projects with private sector partners.
“International science and technology cooperation is necessary for global challenges. This cooperation can help improve water treatment and reuse of waste water; drug resistant tuberculosis; and solar water heating system for remote rural areas,” said US Ambassador to Pakistan, Richard Olson, during his address at the recently held two-day US Science and Technology cooperation programme symposium on “Economic Growth through technology transfer” here at NUST, Islamabad
He also explained many other ways that US promote scientific programmes with Pakistan and said this cooperation brings closer the US and Pakistani researchers, universities, research institute, government officials and participants to help them build partnership between researchers and private sectors.
The symposium was organized by the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) and US State Department, US Agency for International Development and the US National Academy of Sciences.
The main objective of the event was to introduce concepts of technology transfer and introduce new interaction between research projects and private sectors.
The participants included principal investigators, private organizations, government representatives, and universities.
Don Gerhart, President and CEO of Challenger Biosciences, while speaking on intellectual property tools for linking academic research to technology transfer, described about Intellectual property IP, different types of IP also universities support.
Earlier, Dr. Naseer Ali Khan, Member HEC, informed that during the last decade the US and Pakistan jointly contributed $38 million to fund 73 Pak-US scientist-led research projects among 40 different institutes and universities in both the countries.
HEC Chairperson Dr. Javaid Laghari, in his address said that the theme is very important for any kind of product. Research and innovation play a critical role in the field of science and technology.
He said that universities contribution is also important. He said that the previous HEC establishment has brought revolutionary changes in the higher education sectors. He said that due to their revolutionary reforms Pakistani universities has been included among the top international and Asian universities.
Federal Secretary MoST Akhlaq Ahmad Tarar, Eng. Muhammad Asghar, Rector NUST, Islamabad, and Prof. Dr. Iqrar Ahmad Khan, Vice-Chancellor, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Dr. Akram Choudhry, Dr. Surya Raghu, Imtiaz Rasgar, and Rebecca Taylor were also present at the event.
In his comments, Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation Dr. Manzoor Soomro, termed the symposium a rich opportunity to have interaction with the US researchers and share their experiences, ideas, knowledge with Pakistani researchers and scientists.
Muhammad Tariq, System Administrator NUST, said that this was a unique experience sharing different researchers ideas and a good way of knowledge transfer. Practical sort of ideas is most important for the betterment of the society as it also helps the society groom through knowledge.
Dr. Zarrien Ayub from the University of Karachi said that the symposium was informative and an instrument in giving the correct idea to make out products in a perfect way.
Dr. Mudassir Israr, Chairperson PCST, said that it is a good initiative for capacity building and the ministry would include more projects under the umbrella of cooperation.
Many other things including hands on workshop, private sectors partnership, intellectual property and also new ideas how to “sell” a business product ideas to potential investors were discussed during the working session on the occasion.