Nanoscience mushrooming can increase pulse of innovation: Speakers



Ahsan Jamil


PAKISTAN`S ENDEAVORS in nanotechnology advancement are still slipshod and need significant boost to rejuvenate its foundations. To emphasize on importance on nanoscience in sustainable and environmental friendly energy solutions Preston Institute of Nano Science and Technology (PINSAT) recently organized a lecture of Prof Malek Mazza, UNESCO UNISA Africa Chair in Nanoscience and Technology, and Fellow Islamic Academy of Sciences (IAS) on the topic “Nano Materials for Solar Energy and Nano Materials by Green Chemistry”.


Prof Malek Mazza, the key note speaker said, “The interdisciplinary nature of nanotechnology necessitate that rapid advances in nanoscale science and technology can only mushroom in a collaborative environment where organizations working in SandT, academia discuss ideas, work together, and exchange their expertise for the betterment of nanoscience culture in the developing countries in order to resurrect the national economy through innovations and discoveries brought by nanoscience especially in the energy and environmental conservation”.


Prof N.M. Butt, Director PINSAT while focusing on need of development of nanoscience for various challenges told, “The west has invested much in the nanotechnology field and thats why innovations are explicitly seen in their products. Pakistan has a booming potential in form of talent and exuberance. The government needs to focus on development of nanoscience and technology through adequate funding to public and private sector in order to reap fruits and prepare a skilled resource for the future to reach objectives of energy and environmental through road paved by nanoscience”.


At present, nanoscience and technology has been widely ignored in Pakistan even though it can revolutionize industries in Sialkot, Faisalabad and other industrial cities that can inflict a huge positive impact on national exchequer and economic growth.


A fact that must shake the policy makers is that there are only two nano-chemistry laboratories in Pakistan; the newly setup nano-chemistry lab at Government College University (GCU) Lahore, and the other one at University of Karachi (UoK).


It is pertinent to mention that worldwide more than 600 firms in as many as 25 countries are directly involved in producing more than 1000 nanotechnology products, the situation is rather gloomy in Pakistan as the country is massively lagging behind in the field despite having a good infrastructure.


The major reasons behind lagging of the country in this particular field on nanoscience and technology are the inconsistent, myopic approaches due to which National Commission on Nano-Science and Technology (NCNST) constituted in 2003 faced mixed fate and become defunct in 2012 according to National Science and Technology and Innovation (STandI) Policy 2012. Since then, voices have been amplified to restore the Commission with robust objectives and stringent implementation plans in order to fortify the nanoscience culture in Pakistan.


It is high time to revitalize the nanoscience and technology initiatives at national level and bring all the stakeholders in public and private sector on board to develop a roadmap for these technologies which can warrant the prosperity of Pakistan by freeing it from predicament of energy, environment, health and other sectors.


Nanotechnology is the prime area of science and technology that allows understanding, visualizing and manipulation of atoms and molecules at discrete level for improvement of traits of the product reducing the noisy part and upscaling the utility part. It enables to fabricate new nanostructures with improved functionalities and properties. Nanotechnology has range of applications in various fields including energy, environment, electrical, thermoelectrical, biomedical, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, optical, textile, chemicals, polymer industry etc.

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