Islamabad—The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has established an Innovation Steering Committee 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. Though some institutions and individuals have performed very well in the recent years, yet there is dire need to encourage maximum number of faculty members, researchers and students to embrace innovative and entrepreneurial endeavours.
The meeting unanimously selected Mr. Imtiaz Rastghar as Chairman of the Innovation Steering Committee. The Committee decided to review and further develop parameters to assess Office of Research Innovation and Commercialization (ORIC), develop a start-up academy as well as take steps to encourage female entrepreneurs. Each participant presented SWOT analysis regarding their interaction with the universities.
Dr. Arshad Ali appreciated continuous support of the industry and informed them that HEC will welcome their suggestions to improve progress of ORIC to move towards creating a knowledge economy. He said that having worked on the other side of the canvas, he is now in a position to identify the gray areas. He showed his concern on increase in youth population and establishment of new universities. “These graduates are a national asset and we need to work together to develop a road map linking our youth to the solution of rising national requirements.”
Dr. Arshad said that HEC looks forward to the positive role of business community for strengthening country’s economy. He also informed that HEC has also planned to convene meeting of ORIC Directors to listen to their problems to identify areas where they could be helped to achieve their objectives.
Dr. Muhammad Latif, Adviser (R&D) HEC briefed the forum about HEC’s new project on Technology Development Fund for PhD scholars. The Adviser informed the gathering that new project is specifically designed to support researchers for prototype development and marketing their research project to benefit the community and economy at large. The Executive Director said that the establishment of Committee will serve as a backbone to the newly approved HEC’s Technology Fund for which the Government has approved funds amounting to Rs 2.95 million. The participants were briefed about HEC’s R&D initiatives and establishment of ORIC in industry. The meeting will soon be followed by meeting with the entrepreneurs with Directors ORIC in the surroundings as well as Vice Chancellors of the respective universities.