HEC deliberates acceleration of innovation, commercialization at varsities

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Staff Reporter

Islamabad—The Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) Innovation Steering Committee has suggested engaging with senior management of universities to improve output of their Offices of Research, Innovation and Commercialization (ORICs).
The meeting, chaired by Imtiaz Rastgar Chairman Innovation Steering Committe HEC, discussed at length the monitoring and evaluation process, development of success parameters and outreach and marketing strategy for startup businesses in universities.
Imtiaz Ali Rastgar also holds office of Managing Director, Rastgar Engineering Co. (pvt) Ltd. Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director, was also present at the meeting held at HEC Secretariat, said a news release issued here on Saturday.
Members also proposed ORIC participation in national start-up competitions. Dr. Arshad Ali said that universities would be encouraged to enhance the scope of innovation and commercialization incubation centres.
The upcoming Rs. 2.94 billion Technology Development Fund was also discussed at length under which 200 projects will be funded in the next five years wherein research project with commercial viability will be funded.
Innovation Steering Committee, established by HEC in March this year, is mandated to further strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship activities in Pakistani universities that will ultimately help in creation of job opportunities as well as country’s economic empowerment.
Dr. Arshad Ali urged the gathering about the urgency to create a framework and a mechanism to promote innovation and create a progressive environment for ORICs by encouraging cross learning and mentoring as Pakistan did possess talented entrepreneurs who needed guidance.
He stressed the need to take into account the global industry and how Pakistan could make a niche for itself there.
Since its inception, the Committee has now held three meetings to discuss means to strengthen links between academia and industry through ORICs in universities. During these meetings, representatives from industry and ORICs of universities have been brainstorming at length about the need to strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship activities in Pakistani universities. The meeting was attended by Dr. Muhammad Latif, Adviser (R&D) HEC, Anwar Amjad, DG (IT) HEC, Muhammad Murtaza Zaidi, CEO Cyber vision International, Syed Ahmed, CEO, DPL (Pvt) Ltd, Ms. Jhan Ara, CEO, Pasha, Mr. Owais Anjum, CEO, eMumba (Pvt) Ltd, Maj. Gen. (R) Akbar Saeed Awan, Chairman, National Technology Council, Mr. Wahaj Siraj, CEO, Nayatel (Pvt) Ltd, Mr. Yusuf Hussain, Founder, DM Ventures, Ali Hasnain, CEO, DEAlSMASH (Pvt) Ltd, Ammar Ahmed Khan, MD, NEXUS Telecom (Network and Services Investigation), Sayyed Ahmad Masud, MD, Channel-7, Khurram Bhatti, PASHA, Dr. Saad Liaquat, Interactive Group, Dr. Sarah Khan, Ms. Sehrish Fatima and Shafaq Soomro from NUST and Rabia Shoaib, Director Corporate Advisory Council.

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