HEC Pakistan establishes Innovation Steering Committee to fuel country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem

By Asra Rizwan on
March 13, 2016
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The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has formulated an Innovation Steering Committee to focally accelerate entrepreneurship activities in the country’s academic institutions. This strategic step targets creation of employment avenues and empowering local economy.

Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC led the meeting at HEC Secretariat – Islamabad, where the decision was taken to establish a dedicated committee. This initiative will prove to implement an action plan for the recently approved Technology Fund of Rs 2.95 million, approved by the government for HEC. It was recognized that recent years have seen tremendous growth in the performance of academic institutions in lieu of entrepreneurship and innovation. However, the need remains to encourage and support the highest number of students, researchers and faculty members to initiate endeavors.

All the members attending the the meeting, presented SWOT analyses regarding their interaction with academia. Later, Mr. Imtiaz Rastghar was unanimously selected as the Chairperson of the Committee, who will work towards reviewing and developing metrics to assess the performance of Office of Research, Innovation and Commercialization (ORIC) in various universities of Pakistan. The action plan will further include development of start-up academies and encouragement for female entrepreneurs. HEC aims to strengthen the country’s economy by deriving a positive role through the business community. Dr. Arshad has shared plans how ORIC Directors will be convened to identify gray areas and establish facilitation modes for achievement of mutual objectives.

Meanwhile, Dr. Muhammad Latif – Advisor R&D, HEC also presented the forum with the objectives of Technology Development Fund for PhD scholar. The fund aims to equip researchers with opportunities of prototype development and marketing their research to transform into commercially viable products.

High profile industry representatives, entrepreneurs and team members of HEC participated in the discussion, including:

  • Dr. Muhammad Latif, Adviser (R&D) HEC
  • Imtiaz Rastgar, Chairman, Rastgar Group
  • Muhammad Murtaza Zaidi, CEO Cyber Vision International
  • Syed Ahmed, CEO DPL (Pvt) Ltd
  • Haroon Qurashi, CEO East West Infiniti
  • Owais Anjum, CEO eMumba (Pvt) Ltd
  • Wahaj Siraj, CEO Nayatel (Pvt) Ltd,
  • Maajid Maqbool, Assistant Professor, SEECS-NUST
  • Zeeshan Shahid, Programme Manager TITZ,
  • Yusuf Hussain, Founder NM Ventures
  • Ali Hasnain, CEO DEACSMASH (Pvt) Ltd
  • Ammar Khan, MD NEXUS Telecom
  • Syed Ahmad, Director P@SHA
  • Shafiullah Khan, Director (HRD) HEC.
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