Islamabad March 4, 2020 – Knowledge has always been the core component of any country’s vision and policies for comprehensive progress. The contemporary era is, however, witnessing an unprecedented speed of the phenomenon, making knowledge an even more essential constituent in rapid economic development, characterised by close linkages between innovative evolution and considered investments in R&D and education. In the context of greater emphasis being placed in Pakistan on developing a strong knowledge economy, the NUST Institute of Policy Studies (NIPS), the university-based think tank, organised a high-level national seminar on “Knowledge Economy: The Path to Speedy and High-Quality Growth,” at the university’s main campus here on Wednesday.
The seminar featured two high-level interactive sessions dealing comprehensively with the key components of value in the field of Knowledge Economy – built upon the 4 key pillars of Human Resource Development, Economic & Institutional Regime, Innovation, and Advanced Information & Communication Technologies – and sought rational approaches of strengthening the dynamic interplay between these crucial pillars.
Mr Asad Umar, Federal Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives, shared his valued assessments on operationalising the Quadruple Helix Model of innovation for knowledge economy: moving up the value chain from infrastructure-led to innovation-led development. He exhorted academics and researchers to align knowledge creation and innovation with real world problems, and stressed the need for building indigenous capabilities in terms of technological advancement and human resource development, so as to reduce and eventually eliminate foreign dependency. Advisor to the PM on Digital Pakistan Initiative, Ms Tania Aidrus, elaborated on her vision of “Fostering Digital Pakistan Vision as a Powerful Initiative for the Development of Knowledge Economy.” Chairman PM Taskforce on Knowledge Economy, Dr Atta-ur-Rahman, presented salient prospects of “Leveraging Science & Technology for Building National Innovation Systems in the 21st Century and the Roadmap to kickstarting Knowledge Economy.” Chairman HEC, Dr Tariq Banuri, talked about “The role of HEC towards National Development and Growth” and shared his thoughts on transforming this sector to embrace innovation-led development and accelerate knowledge-based economy.
Other distinguished speakers that included Chairman Kohinoor-Maple Leaf Group Mr Tariq Saeed Saigol, and CEO APIMatic Mr Ameer Hassan, delivered talks on “Overcoming the Challenges of Industrial Upgradation in Pakistan to Transform it to Knowledge Economy” and “A Case Study on Successful Startup – A Model for Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” respectively. The latter shared with the audience that his company boasted some of the Fortune 500 companies as clients.
Earlier in his welcome address, Lt Gen Naweed Zaman, HI (M), (Retd), Rector NUST, asserted that it is but an undeniable fact that the coming era will belong to those nations that have mastered the art of transforming knowledge into economic value. He highlighted some of the significant NUST initiatives – such as the establishment of Pakistan’s first Sciences & Technology Park at the university’s Islamabad campus – to contribute to achieving financial self-sustainability for the country through building the knowledge economy.
An overall consensus was achieved on the establishment of world-class centres of learning, policy reforms directed at strengthening the research base, and formation of a national hi-tech culture that creates, disseminates, and uses knowledge to enhance Pakistan’s sustained growth and development. The event was attended by a large number of senior government officials, policymakers, higher education leaders, academic experts, eminent industrialists and corporate personalities, public and private innovation managers, think tank specialists, entrepreneurs, scholars, and students.