Islamabad—A Focus Group discussion entitled “Incubation and Acceleration Programmes in Pakistan: Challenges & Policy Preferences” was organized at Higher Education Commission (HEC) Islamabad in collaboration with TechHub Connect, a Project of Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB).
Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC chaired the session, which aimed to deliberate the Government’s ICT policy, particularly patronization of the growing concept of Technology Incubators and Accelerators and discuss ways to engage with a broader audience and further explore possibilities of encountering new ideas.
Technology Incubators and Accelerators are widely accepted as a key source of innovation and technology based entrepreneurship as well as commercialization of research undertaken by academia. They serve as a breeding ground for startups and help them actualize their potential by providing guidance and mentorship.
The participants discussed major challenges being faced by Incubators and Accelerators in Pakistan, and development of partnerships among different incubators/accelerators to develop standardized practices as well as establishing their strong linkage with the universities.
The discussion also included possibility of developing subject-specific incubators and accelerators, ensuring quality of infrastructural, legal and counselling services provided by them, and encouraging international incubators to setup centres in Pakistan.
Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Arshad Ali assured that all possible support will be provided by the Government to maximize potential of Incubators and Accelerators in the country. He briefed the gathering about HEC’s initiatives to create a framework and a mechanism to promote innovation and entrepreneurial activities among faculty members, researchers and students that, he said, will ultimately help in creation of job opportunities as well as country’s economic empowerment.
Among others, the session was attended by Dr. Muhammad Latif, Adviser (R&D) HEC, ORIC representatives from universities, Ms. Noshaba Awais, Director ((R&D) HEC, and Syeda Mehak Jamal Zaidi, Assistant Programme Manager, TechHub Connect.