STAFF REPORT ISB: US Ambassador David Hale and HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed have signed an MoU to double the funding for the Pak-US Science and Technology Cooperation Programme.

The MoU would provide more than $8 million in joint funding for high-level collaborative research in science and technology with a new focus on health and other fields such as water, energy, and information technology.

Ambassador Hale said, “The benefits to in developing our education, knowledge, skills, and human capacity are immeasurable.” The increase in funding demonstrates the level of importance we both place on investing in science and technology, he added.

HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed said, “Pakistan and the United States have had a long history of partnership in education and research and this agreement shows our commitment to continue the partnership for many years to come.

Since the programmes inception in 2005, the United States and Pakistan had jointly funded nearly $34 million in collaborative research supporting 96 projects conducted by scientists and researchers from both nations working in collaboration.

Each year, researchers, scholars and scientists from the United States and Pakistan propose subjects for research and are selected for funding through a competitive process. Previous grantees have focused on diverse topics including food security, public health, disaster management, engineering, water, energy and information technology.

The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US Department of State are the joint contributors for this phase of the programme.