STAFF REPORT LHR: Research and development have emerged as a driving force behind national progress, as has been evident from the development of the West. Pakistan desperately needs to promote, RandD culture, commercialise research works and improve integration of research and education at all levels.

“We should work on commercialisation of facultys research work in collaboration with universitys research office and Higher Education Commission, so that their hard work could play a positive role in socio-economic development of Pakistan,” said Government College University, Lahore, Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr Khaleeq-ur-Rahman, while addressing a recent meeting of the universitys senior faculty.

Purpose of the meeting was to hone the research potential of the university. Director Research, Innovation and Commercialisation Prof, Dr Zakria Butt, was also present on the occasion.

He stressed that research papers should not stay buried in journals.

He revealed that this year, GCUs nine faculty members including Dean Prof. Dr Islam Ullah Khan and Registrar Dr Akhyar Farrukh were conferred the prestigious Research Productivity Award (RPA) by the Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST) in recognition of their outstanding research publications, which were published in the international impact factor journals.

He called upon the RPA recipients to work on commercialisation of their research work in collaboration with the universitys research office and HEC so that their hard work could play role in socio-economic development of the country.

The Vice Chancellor also revealed that the universitys Advanced Studies and Research Board has adopted very strict rules to enhance the quality of research done by the scholars for their PhD programme.

“The university is giving no relaxation to scholars and they must have to leave for registration in the GCU PhD programme,” he said adding the university is also giving research grants to its scholars from its own budget, so that they should do the quality research for the socio-economic development.

Prof. Rahman said that GCU is focusing on applied research, and thats why their faculty of chemistry and physics departments now have patents.

“The PCST has also included points for patents in the criteria of Research Productivity Award which is a good omen,” he remarked and applauded the research work of Registrar Dr Akhyar Farrukh, who despite his administrative duties has got a very high impact factor and has got an international patent to his credit.

He maintained that science and technology and RandD are important determinants of innovation and knowledge generation and need to be given greater emphasis. It is, therefore, essential that RandD programmes and activities lay major focus in developing commercially viable products and processes transferable to industry and other stakeholders for socioeconomic uplift of the country.

This had been a point of concern that the RandD organizations of the Ministry of SandT since their inception, paid less attention to carry out need-based research and commercialize their technologies, products and processes. Subsequently, despite having trained and qualified manpower including hundreds of PhDs with state-of-the-art labs for RandD, the contribution of RandD organizations to national progress had been insignificant.

Now, the Commercialization Programme of MoST has been initiated under PSDP Project “Strengthen of MoST” for guiding, supporting, facilitating and capacity building of SandT organizations of MoST in commercializing their intellectual property (products, technologies, processes, designs, services) generated through RandD activities, enabling them to enhance their productivity.

Under this initiative, more emphasis was laid on strong and sustained linkages between industry and academia as it would lay the foundation of research and development culture and contribute significantly in encouraging the need-based research.

In pursuit of this end, HEC has also started working to organize the research activities of universities/HEIs ensuring availability of well-established and fully functional ORIC which will provide strategic and operational support to the universitys research activities and will have a central role in facilitating the universitys research outcomes.

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