Staff Report ISD: Stenfano Gatto, Deputy Head of EU delegation to Pakistan discussed Horizon 2020 with Prof Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Chairman PSF. They focused on the possibilities through which they can achieve awareness about their research and innovation program. The purpose of this program is to bridge the gap between the EU and Pakistan. Both the sides discussed future plans such as establishment of PSF as a national contact point (NCP) by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), arranging awareness seminars for scientists, engineers and technopreneur at Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi, as well as submission of joint research proposals to EU. They also discussed other cooperation areas to promote science in the country.
Prof Dr. Muhammad Ashraf assured that PSF, MoST and other stakeholders will play vital role to propagate a good understanding amongst people about program at the federal and provincial levels. The Chairman PSF said that the foundation being the supreme and old entity in the country, PSF is maintaining a standing and has access to RandD organizations, universities, primary and secondary educational institutions in order to introduce science culture.
The EU and Pakistan took a major step forward in their relations with the entry into force on January 1, 2014 of the special trade preferences for Pakistan – the GSP+ regime. Meanwhile, another important EU initiative has launched for Pakistans active participation: the new EU Research and Innovation Program Horizon 2020.
EU is maintaining a stellar position as a global leader in research and innovation because of Horizon 2020. Non-EU member states can also join Horizon 2020 to promote high profile scientific projects through cooperation with EU science and technology partners. It also allows significant funding to non-EU member states. Importantly, all the bureaucratic tasks associated with applying for research grants will be carried by the EU partners. An impressive €79 billion budget is available worldwide for Horizon 2020s seven-year term that is, more than € ten billion per annum.