COMSTECH organized international workshop and exhibition on research commercialization: challenges and opportunities on Tuesday.

COMSTECH organized international workshop and exhibition on research commercialization: challenges and opportunities on Tuesday.

The Coordinator General COMSTECH welcomed the guests of the event. He said that the theme of this workshop is understanding the opportunities as well as the challenges that are present for the commercialization of research, which is of great significance for all our member states.

Prof. Choudhary said that we all are aware of the societal and economic potential of science and technology in our age. He said academic research has begun to take off in most states as evidenced by the rapid growth in science publications emanating from OIC member states. However, a common problem is how to convert academic research into new products. Prof. Choudhary said that the lack of clear road map, sustained state support, institutional framework, entrepreneurial thinking in faculty, infrastructure, interest of industrial sector and investors, and innovation rejecting mindset of the academic leadership are the major challenges being faced by the science commercialization. He suggested to take these challenges seriously, formulate right and sustained policies and establish consortia of business and academia that work together to achieve targets.

Prof. Zakri Abdul Hamid the Chairman of Atri Advisory and Science Advisor to the Campaign for Nature initiative in the ASEAN, from Malaysia appreciated the COMSTECH capacity building activities for OIC countries. He pointed out that the level of preparedness and insfrastructure is the key reason of lacking behind. Prof. Zakri mentioned that science and technology is good, and research and development is great, but it must be relevant and must have impact and must contribute to the wellbeing of the society.

Prof. Dr. Orkun Hasekioğlu, the Vice President at TENMAK, the Energy, Nuclear and Mining Research Agency and advisor to the President of TUBITAK said some years ago we discussed the ways to realize the Astana STI Declaration and came out with some ideas, like commercializing science research and establishing development fund for COMSTECH countries, but could not realize those ideas because of obstacles and suggested to learn lessons from the best practices and implement them to achieve results.

Prof. Dr. Mustafa Guzel, the Director of Discovery and Development Center at Istanbul Medipol University, and the Chair of Medical Pharmacology Department and International Faculty of Medicine, Turkey, said that it is hard to find funding for your research, and it is really hard to find support from investors who support your idea to conduct a research to develop an innovative product. He suggested to make teams to support each other to become self-sufficient. Prof. Guzel said we need to rethink our habit, speak with each other and break the ice.

Vice Chancellor, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Dr. Nadeem ul Haque delivered the keynote address. He said that brining science to our countries needs attitude towards science. He said we need to have a holistic approach to collect knowledge. Dr. Haque said that science culture can bring science, that needs to be developed. He lamented that we want science without cultural change. He said that we have to learn to create ideas, just copying would not help. He suggested to create a vibrant culture of exchange, create networks of exchange and establish clubs where experts come and exchange ideas. Prof. Haque said when I see no consultations of governments with the universities, I feel like there is no demand of science in our cultures. He suggested we need to develop expert data analysts and make indigenous policies.

Chief Executive Officer of Ignite, Mr. Asim Shahryar Husain attended the inaugural session as the chief guest. He encouraged the development of indigenous capabilities in the field of information technology to create skilled free lancers. He informed that the 300 million US dollars have been earned by the Ignite trained freelancers.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Syed Khurshid Hasnain, Adviser Science COMSTECH, informed that more than 200 people are participating in-person from Turkey, Malaysia, Berkina Faso, Cameroon, Nigeria and Pakistan while 300 people are joining online from different OIC member states. He said that 22 international and national world renowned experts will deliver lectures in the workshop while fifteen companies have set up stalls to showcase their products in the exhibition.

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