Rana Tanveer Hussain, Federal Minister for Science and Technology, graced the inaugural ceremony as the Chief Guest. Mr. Fazal Abbas Maken, Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology was also present on the occasion as a guest of honor. The ceremony was attended by a number of dignitaries including Heads of R&D organizations, Vice Chancellors, eminent scientists, representatives of private sector/industry, civil society and others.
Federal Minister said that one of key challenges in economic development of Pakistan is weak linkages between centers of science & technology and the production sector. Government is well aware of this issue and is fully committed to bridge this gap and explore all potential areas that would harness economic development and prosperity for the future generation of the country. The Minister also appreciated the role of PCST in organizing this important workshop and providing a platform to the experts to share their knowledge in identifying key challenges and way forward for promoting an enabling environment for demand-oriented industrial-lead research culture in Pakistan.
Mr. Fazal Abbass Maken, Secretary Science and Technology emphasized upon the urgent need of University-Academia collaboration as this phenomena is very common in other countries whereas in Pakistan this is not happening. He further said that the universities are widely viewed by the world as an economic engine that can positively contribute to a country’s growth in addition to its primary role as a center for knowledge. Pakistan has many world class universities, producing high quality research but the challenge lies in how to transform this research into socio-economic well-being which can best be achieved by creating strong bonding between knowledge creator and knowledge consumers.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Dr. Anwar ul Hassan Gilani Chairman, PCST, threw light on the importance of the workshop and welcomed the auspicious guests. Dr. Khalil Malik, University of Manchester, UK also spoke and shared his experience of other countries. Dr. Arshad Ali, ED,HEC, while speaking on the occasion, highlighted the projects being undertaken by the HEC for the enhancement of Industry-Academia collaboration.
Considering the significance of the topic, the workshop attracted a large number of participants, representing 61 universities, R&D organizations, industry, civil society organizations and government agencies. The outcome of this workshop will provide basis to chalk out policy proposals and recommendations about different aspects of the issue dealing with weakness in academia-industrial linkages which will be presented to the Ministry of Science and Technology for consideration and implementation.