Need for Technology Parks

A nation without education is little more than a gathering of apes and monkeys. The steep progress the developed world is now forcing the developing or under-developed states to invest massively in education, science, technology and innovation to reap the benefits of modern day progress. We live in a world where knowledge, technology and human resources have grabbed the first priority to ensure socio-economic development while natural resources have comparatively little importance. In fact, vision and planning are the core principles that can transform a nation into an economic giant. And this was what the West had included in their policies. Many small-sized nations like Singapore, Japan, Korea and Malaysia have proved this factor by achieving the envious progress and establishing a strong network of universities and technology institutions. Pakistan is experiencing a very reverse rather regrettable situation in terms of technology, education and economy. Our political leadership, feeling fears from the Higher Education Commission, has already minimized its role by drastically reducing funds allocation. The expenditure of Pakistan on education, science and technology ranks us among the lowest in the world, in spite of the manifesto promises. While on the other hand, the Science Parks have now turned into Knowledge Parks. These second generation parks ensured that academic institutions could continue to engage in leading edge research as well as to promote technology applications as an entrepreneurial venture to support their operations. And now the world has successfully entered the third generation – the world knowledge parks. Knowledge Park provides a strong base for future generations as it ensures capacity building, linkages with higher education and research institutions, technology transfer, increased employment, better support to new small firms and a seed-bed for innovation. Our civil leadership needs to hold some sense and reprioritize their options, take radical steps to move towards knowledge parks if they really want to develop the country on modern scales. There is a strong need for advocacy and support for national science, technology and innovation policies as Knowledge Parks do not function in a vacuum. Finally, efforts should be made to build an ideologically sound framework for establishing, refining and enlarging the concept of Knowledge Park. This framework would be predicated on the principles of collaboration and cross-fertilization of ideas, sharing of infrastructure and resources for the good of all. As we approach the deadline of 2015 that the world has set for achieving MDGs, a well-composed approach on the role of technological innovation in general and Knowledge Parks in particular is needed.

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