November 18, 2020| Press Releases|
Coordinator General, COMSTECH, Dr Iqbal Choudhry,
Vice Chancellors, Rectors,
Assalam o alaikum and Good Morning!
It is a great privilege for me to be here today, amongst such distinguished and eminent scholars of Pakistan representing such an important pillar of our society: the Academia.
Education is the indispensable building block of civic life. Nations prosper and progress when a conscious, concerted effort is made to invest in collective intellectual capital. In this respect, our higher education institutions are the gateway, shaping the future of Pakistan.
As we speak of the future, I am honored to join this inauguration of the COMSTECH Consortium of Excellence, conceived as a strategic convergence of leading universities of Pakistan and OIC in the fields of Science and Technology.
The COMSTECH Consortium of Excellence envisages creating inclusive global and regional partnerships in science, for constructing and partaking of an OIC knowledge economy.
It will also showcase our collective scientific endeavors at the international stage and help us in obtaining a greater share of the digital/high tech export market-globally, and particularly in Africa as the targeted market envisaged by the Consortium.
In this context, the COMSTECH Consortium of Excellence can play a pivotal role in boosting trade ties with African countries through its proposed Business Accelerator Program.
As the premier institution of OIC on Science and Technology, COMSTECH has a special and particular responsibility to enhance OIC’s science and technology footprint across the Muslim world and even beyond. In this regard, developing synergies in science, and investing in capacity-building programs, is a step in the right direction.
This is also in line with the OIC STI Agenda 2026, adopted during the first OIC S&T Summit, which called for enhanced Intra-OIC Cooperation in the fields of health, agriculture, climate change, food and water security, and big science projects.
I commend COMSTECH leadership for recognizing the salience of science as a universal language, and fostering partnerships through it.
COMSTECH is an important partner in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Science Diplomacy initiative.
The Ministry has formally launched its Science Diplomacy Action Plan. The Plan envisages a multi-pronged, multi-stakeholder holistic approach to facilitate scientific collaborations, improve international market access for Pakistani exports, encourage academic research and development activities through international collaborations, and showcase STI as a key asset of Pakistan.
A pivotal part of the Action Plan pertains exclusively to the academia. This entails creating linkages between local scientific researchers with their international counterparts, linking Pakistani Centres of Excellence with foreign centres of excellence, facilitating technology transfer and commercialization of scientific products made in Pakistan, promotion of Pakistan’s universities abroad, ensuring researcher mobility, and popularization of science in Pakistan through national and international collaborations.
As a first step towards achieving these objectives, it is imperative that we map our own scientific talent pool; particularly those who are abroad in various capacities as scholars and researchers or working in high tech or big science fields. It is with this objective that we have launched our Diaspora Outreach Research and Innovation Network (DORIN) registration portal, today.
I encourage all the distinguished Vice Chancellors & Rectors to disseminate information regarding this initiative within their respective circles in order to universalize our outreach.
I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone present here today to collaborate with us in our Science Diplomacy efforts.
We are ready to work with our Universities in engendering international linkages and promoting research products and services abroad. By virtue of this Consortium, we are well placed to institutionalize our collaborations in a meaningful and impactful manner. If there are any R&D products that are market-ready, then a product portfolio may be shared with us, through the Consortium, and we can explore further collaborations through our Embassies and Trade Missions abroad.
I wish you very productive deliberations and hope this Consortium of Excellence will be a dynamic force, propelling Pakistan’s scientific growth and advancement forward — both within OIC and globally.
I thank you all.
Last modified: November 18, 2020
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