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HYDERABAD: Speakers at a workshop held here on Wednesday pleaded for bridging a gap between academia and industry with a view to boosting the economy.

They said that a university-industry interaction umbrella project had been initiated to share latest information on science and technology with entrepreneurs.

They were addressing a one-day training workshop titled the “Develop­ing Industry Driven Technologies” held at the University of Sindh Jamshoro in collaboration with the Pakistan Scientific and Technological Information Centre (PASTIC) Islamabad and the Institute of Research Promotion (IRP) Lahore, organised at Hi Tech Resources Laboratory of the SU.

SU Faculty of Natural Sciences Dean Prof Dr Abdul Rasool Abbasi presided over the workshop while PASTIC director general Dr Muha­m­mad Akram Shaikh participated as the guest of honour.

The participants of the workshop were apprised of the planning, developing and commercializing of technologies. They were also told about processes, fabrication and pilot test trials of market driven products.

The workshop also included significant learning for research managers in terms of technology development process, transfer of framework and enabling factors for successful commercialization.

PASTIC DG Dr Mohammad Akram Shaikh said researchers had a number of ideas (projects) with viable potentials which could be utilized for their universities to develop and commercialize. He said the workshop was based on case studies of industrial projects developed through identification, planning, laboratory works, pilot testing and production scale of different industrial products. Scientists and professors of natural sciences must conduct applied research in their fields in order to solve problems regarding industries and help diminish poverty in the country, he added.

He said the allocation of money for research in the field of science and technology was meager which could not help conduct applied research to benefit industries.

Delivering his lecture, IRP Lahore chief coordinator Rahmat­ullah said the poverty could be lessened in the country only through conducting applied research in the field of natural sciences. He said the main objective of this workshop was to provide a platform to scientists from the University of Sindh to share their findings with science administrators and industry representatives in order to develop a greater understanding about tremendous benefits of structural chemistry.

Prof Dr Abdul Rasool said there was a communication gap between the two sides (University and Industry) in the past which now must be bridged with the help of the project initiated by PASTIC.

“Latest research facilities in universities will help us in facing industrial, technical and management challenges,” he said.

Developed countries were reducing cost of production by using high-technology in their goods, said Dr Abbasi.

He said that in the past Higher Education Commission (HEC) initiated an industrial rese­arch development project, but paucity of funds kept it ineffective. He said that in Netherlands about 99.9 per cent research work was being carried out by university teachers and funded by industrialists.

SU Hi Tech Resources Laboratory Director Dr Abdul Jabbar Leghari stressed that it was important that academia and corporate sector sit together to address future research needs of the country. He said students and faculty members at universities should develop need based solution for the industry so that corporate sector could avoid spending heavy funds on technology transfer from abroad.

Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2015

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