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Govt exploring potential areas for economic development: Rana Tanveer

SIDRA SAIF IBD: Pakistan council for Science and Technology (PCST) in collaboration with the University of Manchester, UK organised a one-day consultative workshop on “University-Industry Collaborative Interactions: Policy and Practical Implications for Pakistan”.
Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Rana Tanveer Hussain presided the occasion and said that government is committed to fill the gap between S&T research and development centres and production sector for economic development of the country.
The Minister said measures are being taken to ensure economic prosperity for future generation and realising the Vision 2025.
He said collaboration between academia and industry is fundamental for a knowledge based economy, for which collaboration and linkages between universities and industry is necessary for vibrant industry and economic growth.
Rana Tanveer Hussain said that the Government is focusing on research and development and enhanced budgetary allocation for four times for this purpose in the current fiscal year. He said socio-economic development is possible through promoting Science and Technology.
He said recommendations and proposals of the workshop will be made part of the agenda of the meeting of Commission for Science and Technology to be presided over by the Prime Minister.
The minister also appreciated the role of PCST in organising this important workshop and providing a platform to the experts in identifying key challenges, and to build a way forward for the promotion of an enabling environment and demand oriented research culture in Pakistan.
Secretary Science and Technology, Fazal Abbas Maken emphasised upon the urgent need of academia collaboration as this phenomenon is very common in other countries whereas in Pakistan this was not the case.
He further said the universities were widely viewed by the world as an economic engine that could positively contribute to a country’s growth in addition to its primary role as a centre for knowledge.
He said Pakistan had many world class universities, producing high-quality research but the challenge lies in how to transform this research into socio-economic factors which can be achieved by creating strong bonding between knowledge creator and knowledge consumers.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Dr. Anwarul Hassan Gilani, Chairman, PCST, threw light on the importance of the workshop and welcomed the auspicious guests. He said, “Changing environmental demands and the increasing importance of science and technology have added a new dimension to the university’s role in society: economic development through technological innovation and transfer.”
Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director, HEC, while speaking on the occasion said, “The combination of university knowledge and industrial financial support has lead to innovation and the creation of new businesses, jobs and wealth. However, these outcomes are not always easy to obtain. Successful cooperation between industry and the university requires a special kind of synergy. To achieve a successful cooperation agreement, both parties need to be aware of each other’s interests and objectives as well as each other’s complementary strengths”. 
He further highlighted the projects being undertaken by the HEC for the enhancement of Industry-Academia collaboration.
Dr. Khalil Malik, University of Manchester, UK also spoke and shared his experience of other countries.
The objective of this workshop was to provide a basis to chalk out policy proposals and recommendations about different aspects of the issue dealing with weakness in academia-industrial linkages which would be presented to the Ministry of Science and Technology for consideration and implementation.
The ceremony was attended by a number of eminent scientists, industrialists, academia, including heads of R&D organisations, vice chancellors, representatives of different organizations, civil society and others. 

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