COMSATS members call for increase in spending on research, development

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—Coordinating Council of the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) has called upon its Member States to enhance their current level of Gross Expenditures on Research and Development (GERD) to 2pc of the GDP and enhance financial support for international bodies which facilitate science and technology capacity-building, according to a communiqué issued at the conclusion of the two-day international meeting having representation from fourteen Centres of Excellence from COMSATS Member States.
Discussion on new initiatives resulted in a strong commitment to expand and enhance the scope of the relatively newer initiatives of COMSATS, including the Science Diplomacy Programme, Panel on Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, and Distinguished Professorship Scheme. The delegates welcomed accession of three new Member States to COMSATS since the last Council meeting which include Kingdom of Morocco, the State of Palestine, and most recently the Islamic Republic of The Gambia. With accession of Gambia during this meeting in Islamabad, the number of COMSATS Member States has risen to twenty-four.
The meeting also resulted in the rotation of Chairpersonship of the Coordinating Council from Dr. Eduardo Posada Florez, Executive Director of International Centre for Physics (CIF), Colombia to Dr. Ashraf Shaalan, President, National Research Centre (NRC), Egypt.
Speaking at the conclusion, Dr. I.E. Qureshi, Executive Director COMSATS, thanked CIIT for hosting the meeting and welcomed the newly elected Chairperson of the Coordinating Council. Both, the Rector CIIT, Dr. S.M. Junaid Zaidi and the new Chairperson, Dr. Shaalan lauded the efforts of COMSATS Secretariat in consistently pursuing the mission of science and technology-based development in the South. The Coordinating Council commended Dr. I.E. Qureshi for his able leadership as the Executive Director of COMSATS.
The meeting deliberated agenda items pertaining to the technical programmes and South-South Cooperation activities of COMSATS, reviewed the activities and progress of the Centres, and the performance of organization’s International Thematic Research Groups (ITRGs). The discussions led to many prospects of cooperation among the member institutions in the fields of renewable energy, environmental protection, nanotechnology, green technology, biomedical technologies, food technology and other areas of scientific collaboration. Egypt-based National Research Centre (NRC) offered to host the 20th meeting of the Council to be held in 2017.

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