islamabad - The Higher Education Commission (HEC) on Thursday approved the research projects submitted under the Establishment of Technology Development Fund (TDF), an official said.

The approval was given in the second meeting of the steering committee held for the final review and approval of project proposals submitted under the project for PhD scholars returning from abroad.

The project was initiated to introduce new technologies in the country. HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed chaired the meeting. Dr Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC and Dr Muhammad Latif, Adviser R&D were also present on the occasion.

Project Steering Committee comprised members from education sector of all provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and industry to maintain transparency for final approval of the project proposals.

Dr Ahmed highlighted the importance of the project. He said that it will not only strengthen the relationship between academia and industry but also help researchers to materialise their ideas into products and services to support country’s dream of a knowledge economy.

He said both academia and industry should come closer to explore new horizons for the betterment of the country.

Dr Gul Mohammad Laghari, Deputy Chief S&T Section, Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms said that this project is one of the priorities of the government to achieve Pakistan’s Vision 2025.

UET Taxila Vice Chancellor Dr Niaz Ahmad Akhtar highlighted that the number of project proposals received from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Sindh were very few, hence, there is a need to encourage provinces to apply under next calls.

Dr Ali highlighted the role of HEC for taking such initiatives to provide researchers an opportunity to execute their ideas with industrial partners for socio-economic growth of the country. He appreciated the support received from Rastgar Group Chairman Imtiaz Rastgar in the identification of industrial experts.

Dr Latif and Noshaba Awais from R&D appreciated the contribution of the expert panel for proposals’ approval as well as committee’s suggestions to further improve this project so as to facilitate more innovative ideas from all areas of the country.