HEC invites proposals for Technology Development Fund

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The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has invited the faculty members to submit proposals under its Technology Development Fund aimed at facilitating institutions of higher learning to serve as engines for socio-economic development of Pakistan.

An official of HEC told on Sunday that the fund would finance proposals of completed interdisciplinary applied research for prototype development and industrial value addition for technology-based product or process development.

The idea behind this initiative of HEC is to help the productive minds of Pakistan to impact the economy through the development of new and emerging technologies, the official added. This initiative enabled the research ecosystem lied with higher education institutions to be available for the industry with financial and technical assistance (IP, Licensing, and Commercialization) through academic scientists for the solution of indigenous industrial problems.

This program has already funded 200 joint academia-industry projects and over 160 licensed to industry for mass scaling and commercialization. A good number of such projects have already started yielding revenue and which is shared with all stakeholders.

Considering the facts above, Central Development Working Party approved the projects enhanced scope to give the 4th Call for proposals. Hence,PhD Faculty Members who have ready research, lab scale, or pre-prototype should submit the proposals with the consortia of industry and academic partners in the thematic areas including climate change and its impact on the socio economics of Pakistan, Telecommunication, Information and Technology/Computers, Engineering Sciences, Micro Electronics, Water, Power, Energy, and Fleet Management and Biotechnology and Allied fields.

The other areas include Material Sciences/Man-Made Material (Nanotechnology), Robotics, Defense and Military needs and any other applied discipline which is inductive or conducive to the success of products developed or upscale the process of Industrial level manufacturing.

The proposed funded projects would be expected to develop a product or service which would positively impact, inter alia, the economy, solve a current problem, meet a market need, utilize local raw materials, move current products up the value chain, create large scale employment, and generate the revenue.

The applicants have to submit their research proposals on prescribed forms (available online) and the Office of Research Innovation and Commercialization (ORIC), Research Office or Registrar Office of their respective universities must initially scrutinize before endorsing the proposals to HEC for competitive consideration.

The applicants may apply for the project through https://research.hec.gov.pkon or before December 30. About the eligibility criteria, the official informed that the faculty members of public and private sector higher education institutions with relevant commercialization partners from industry, investor, private or public sector Research and Development institutes, spin-offs or startups at leading Incubation Centers or Accelerators can apply for the program.

The proposals need to be joint academia-industry, multi-disciplinary, and multi-institutional leading to products or services which solve a current problem of industry, society or identify a new opportunity of business that leads to positive cash-flows.

About the duration of the project, the official conveyed that the life of each project would be for a period of not exceeding two years.