Since ancient times, China is leading in gold teeth and wood tools for repair of bones. History of biomaterials in China started in 1970s, since then, China is developing rapidly in its research. Presently, China has become leading biomaterials research country in the world.
The idea of holding the Pak-China Business Forum (PCBF) was introduced in 2012 by COMSATS University Islamabad. The first four events of the PCBF were held at Pak China Friendship Centre, Islamabad. The last two, i.e. the 5th and 6th PCBF’s, were held in Lahore at Expo Centre, Johar Town. Both of them proved to be highly successful. On these events, the historic city of Lahore witnessed a flock of Chinese businessmen flocking to the traditional sites and eateries. The one held in September, 2018 had 700 registered Chinese delegates, whereas 400 Chinese and 150 Pakistani companies participated.
Pak-China Business Forum is a true blend of academics, businessmen and potential investors. The primary aim of this program was to promote University-industry collaborations in business and economic sectors for the mutual benefit of both countries. The Chinese and Pakistani companies and innovators set up their stalls exhibiting their new products in search of new markets and buyers; whereas the academics skillfully organized thematic workshops on various topics of social and scientific importance. They included thematic sessions on Renewable Energy Technologies, New Energy Technologies, Information & Communication Technologies (ICT), Water Conservation, Purification & Sanitation, and Biomedical Materials.
Speakers & their topics:
“Role of Biomaterials in Orthopedic Surgery & Applications (Synthetic Bone Graft Substitutes)” – Prof. Kamran Butt
“A Physics Professor Dabbles in Entrepreneurship & Hardware Building: A Personal Account” – Dr. Sabieh Anwar
“Embracing Entrepreneurship in an Academic Environment” – Khurram Zafar
“The Next Steps for Translational Research” – Dr. Shafeeq Haider
The COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI) has always given special attention to the development of biomedical materials from indigenous resources. Biomedical materials is an interdisciplinary area and the the Pak-China Business Forum provides an excellent opportunity for an open meeting of scientists, engineers, clinicians, industrialists, policy makers, general public and regulatory affairs specialists, all under one roof. This workshop proved to be a melting pot of varied ideas charting key trends, research findings, clinical ideas and future projections in the field of biomedical materials.
The thematic workshop on Biomedical Materials (BMM) focused on the possibilities of establishing and strengthening linkages between university, industry and the clinic. In addition, regulatory affairs were also discussed. The session lasted for almost 4 hours, with 5 presentations by the eminent scholars, followed by a panel discussion.
Professor Saadat Anwar Siddiqi, Advisor COMSATS CUI, welcomed the delegates and highlighted the concept of the PCBF. He paid rich tribute to the vision of Prof. Syed Junaid Zaidi, in establishing the concept of PCBF for strengthening the economies of both the brotherly countries. Dr Aqif Anwar, Head IRCBM (Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Biomedical Materials), gave a comprehensive introduction to biomaterials and the philosophy behind the establishment of IRCBM at CUI. He introduced the four research groups carrying out research in different areas of biomaterials. The audience showed tremendous interest in the ongoing projects. Dr. Aqif also mentioned very proudly the most efficient and reliable Materials Testing Service and the Training Cell that IRCBM is running for the benefit of many researchers working in various universities and research organizations of Pakistan.
The discussion revolved around the quality of the implants being manufactured in Pakistan. Dr. Kamran Butt pointed out that many clinicians are using substandard implants for garnering more profits.
Four eminent speakers from diverse backgrounds also made their presentations to highlight the subject of Biomedical materials and to translate their applied research into cheap commercial products of international standards. Renowned Orthopaedic Surgeon Prof. Kamran Butt made presentation on “Role of Biomaterials in Orthopedic Surgery & Applications (Synthetic Bone Graft Substitutes)”. Physicist and entrepreneur Dr. Sabieh Anwar presentation was titled “A Physics Professor Dabbles in Entrepreneurship & Hardware Building: A Personal Account”. The famous innovator and entrepreneur Mr. Khurram Zafar talked on “Embracing Entrepreneurship in an Academic Environment”. The last invited talk was from Dr. Shafeeq Haider who talked on “The Next Steps for Translational Research”.
Khurrum Zafar focused on mentioning the important steps required for the commercialization of biomaterials while working in the environment of a university. He provided extremely useful information on fulfilling international standards, getting C-certification, necessary for commercialization and marketing of biomaterial products. He emphasized the need of setting up spin off companies under the ORIC umbrellas.
The cost of the imported products was a burning issue and in this case the latest research being conducted at IRCBM and effort for their commercialization of already developed prototypes, like bone fillers, and artificial skin were greatly appreciated
The presentations were followed by a panel discussion that lasted for about an hour. Apart from the main speakers, Dr. Fraz Ahmad Saeed, CEO Ahmad Saeed and Company, was also invited to join the panelists. The discussion revolved around the quality of the implants being manufactured in Pakistan. Dr. Kamran Butt pointed out that many clinicians are using substandard implants for garnering more profits. An open discussion on the locally produced implants in the presence of all the stakeholders, brought alive many important issues that the clinicians face during their surgical operations. Furthermore the cost of the imported products was a burning issue and in this case the latest research being conducted at IRCBM and effort for their commercialization of already developed prototypes, like bone fillers, and artificial skin were greatly appreciated. Dr. Muhammad Yar articulately moderated the panel discussion.
Dr. Aqif Anwar, Head IRCBM, was thankful to the experts for their valuable input and for providing significant guidance in producing biomaterials from our own national resources. Dr. Saadat Anwar distributed the shields among the speakers and the panelists.
The author is an Advisor at COMSATS IIT, Lahore, President Khwarizmi Science Society. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org