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Turkish Experts to Help Pakistani Universities Establish Technology Parks

Islamabad: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has invited experts from the Middle East Technical University (METU) Technology Park, Ankara to facilitate the Pakistani universities in preparing feasibility for establishing Technology Parks.

Before their interaction with the universities and industry, Mr. Tolga Ozbolat, Manager METU Technology Park and Mr. Ufuk Batum, Deputy Manager held a meeting with Dr. Sohail Naqvi, Executive Director, HEC at Commission Secretariat on Monday.

Briefing the media, Dr. Naqvi said that the experts will have one-to-one meetings with universities and industry, besides holding a one-day workshop on “Technology Parks: Challenges and Opportunities” for the stakeholders on Tuesday.

He said that the main objective of this exercise is to help universities learn about Technology Parks in general and important pre-requisites in particular. “The experts will share METU experience on Technology Parks with our universities and will assess potential for technology parks in Pakistan as well as possible applications, including non-traditional applications, suitable for the Pakistani environment.”

The experts will get an overview and assessment of the prevailing conditions, including status of IT software development, telecommunication industry, industrial development and service industries, including financial institutions, in Pakistan. They will also provide awareness for legislative requirement and establishment of Technology Parks Financial Fund

While explaining the concept of Technology Park, he said that Technology Park is an organization managed by specialized professionals, with the aim to increase wealth of its community/ economy by promoting culture of innovation and competitiveness of its associated business and knowledge based institutions.

“To achieve these goals, Technology Park stimulates and manages the flow of knowledge and technology amongst universities, R and D institutions, companies and markets. It facilitates creation and growth of innovation-based companies through incubation and spin-off processes and provides other value-added services together with high quality space and facilities.”

He revealed that the METU Technology Park generated a revenue of $ 150 million annually from contract research as it is the first and oldest such Park in Turkey. He highlighted the fact that the world over, universities were working alongside the industry and hence registering spectacular growth.

He said that the Office of Research, Innovation and Commercialization (ORIC), established by HEC at universities, is aimed to develop, expand, enhance and manage the university’s research programmes and to link research activities directly to the educational, social and economic priorities of the university and its broader community. “We want universities to own their research. For this purpose, university staff is being trained to understand the concept”.

Dr. Naqvi said that Turkey is leading the Islamic world as far as higher education is concerned. “Since Turkey is 20 years ahead in the domain, we may learn a lot from their experience and replicate the same in our higher education institutions.

When asked about the cost and timeline of the projects, he said, “We may start with something very modest and then gradually build it to international level. As far as funding is concerned, these projects will not rely solely on the Government resources. Pakistani expatriates, especially METU alumni, are keen to support the initiative.”

Later in the day, the Turkish experts visited the Quaid-e-Azam University and National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST).

For more information, contact:
Aayesha Ikram
Director (Media)
Higher Education Commission
Sector H-9, Islamabad
Tel: 90402404, 90402412
Email: aikram@hec.gov.pk
Website: www.hec.gov.pk

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