ISLAMABAD – The First Pakistan-US Science & Technology Symposium on the topic of “Economic Growth through Technology Transfer” started here at the National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) Islamabad. The symposium is being jointly organised by Higher Education Commission (HEC), Ministry of Science & Technology (MoST), US Agency for International Development and US National Academy of Sciences.
US Ambassador Richard Olson, while addressing the gathering, announced new funding for Pakistani researchers to turn their research into commercially viable projects with private sector partners.
“International science and technology cooperation is essential. We do not live in a bubble; we live in a globalized world faced with challenges that cross borders and require innovative solutions,” said Ambassador Olson.
The Pakistan-US Science & Technology Cooperation Programme will sponsor two competitive seed grant programmes in 2013: Innovate! and Collaborate! Under these programmes, researchers can apply for seed grants of up to $15,000 starting in summer 2013. Application details will be available in summer 2013.
This year’s Pakistan-US Science and Technology Symposium marks the 10-year anniversary of the Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement and highlights a new focus on economic growth through scientific cooperation.
The two-day symposium brings together American and Pakistani researchers, universities, research institutions, government officials, and entrepreneurs to help build partnerships between researchers and the private sector.
The sessions include hands-on workshops on establishing private sector partnerships, intellectual property, and how to “sell” a business idea to potential investors.
The chairperson HEC Dr. Javaid R. Laghari, Federal Secretary of Ministry of Science & Technology Akhlaq Ahmad Tarar, Rector National University of Science & Technology Islamabad Engr Muhammad Asghar and Vice-Chancellor of University of Agriculture Faisalabad Prof. Dr. Iqrar Ahmad Khan were also present on the occasion.
Earlier in the inauguration session, Dr. Nasser Ali Khan, HEC Member, informed that over the last decade, the United States and Pakistan have jointly contributed $38 million to fund 73 Pakistani-US scientist-led research projects among 40 different institutes and universities in both countries.
Eng. Muhammad Shahid Pro Rector NUST said that the symposium would be greatly helpful for bringing academia industry closer to one another so that universities may play pivotal role for the economic development of country, generate jobs and solve the problems being faced by Pakistani society.