UK based charity UK Pakistan Science Innovation Global Network (UPSIGN) has aligned with UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) to arrange three development workshops in Islamabad starting from 9th to 12th March 2020.
More than 140 academics from the UK, Pakistan and the region will travel to Islamabad to participate in the workshops that aim to address challenges linked to sustainable development in Food Systems, Energy/Water and Health sectors in Pakistan and the region.
The activities will create and foster new relationships and develop new networks interested in solving development issues, aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
High Commissioner Muhammad Nafees Zakaria said while welcoming the initiative that “we are delighted to host UPSIGN members and UKRI and British academics at the UK launch of the Global Development Workshops.”
He lauded the efforts of UKRI and UPSIGN for this spectacular and timely initiative by saying that “Pakistan has a long history of working in partnership with its UK diaspora, so it’s fantastic to see British Pakistani professionals creating initiatives like this that have the potential to be impactful and sustainable for the mutual benefit of both nations.”
While appreciating the efforts of the charity for sustainable development in Pakistan, the High Commissioner laid emphasis on collection of accurate and reliable data in the fields of health, education and literacy so that the issues could be seen in their true perspective and be addressed effectively.
He noted that data relating to socio economic status of a country reflects on its image and perception internationally and hence needs to authentic and reliable.
The High Commissioner also apprised the guests of investment opportunities available for Diaspora and international investors in various sectors of Pakistan economy.
Professor Nicola Lowe, UKRI’s GCRF Challenge lead for Food Systems said: “Through the UK government’s Global Challenges Research Fund we have a fantastic opportunity to combine research and academic knowledge with in-country expertise to develop practical solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges including climate change, food insecurity and poor health. Furthermore, Joining with UPSIGN to develop and deliver these this workshop series, opens up exciting possibilities for new collaborations between researchers and community groups from the UK and Pakistan to make a real difference to people with terrible struggles in their everyday lives.”
Chairman of UPSIGN Network Prof Jawwad Darr said “ I’m very proud of the UPSIGN team’s efforts to volunteer their time and proactively facilitate British and other scientists to partner with each other for mutual benefit of the UK, Pakistan and the SE Asia Region”
Cofounder UPSIGN Dr Khalid Mahmood said “this is an exciting time where top universities and research institutes are taking part in the workshops. This includes researchers from more than 20 UK universities and research Institutes.”