First ever National IP & Brand Protection Summit on Changing Contours of Innovation in Pakistan was held at National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) on Monday, 27th June 2022. The theme and scope of the event was to provide a common platform bringing together supply and demand side IP stakeholders and identifying avenues to create synergies among academia, industry and the government to spur innovation economy in Pakistan. To fulfil this aim, NUST invited top industry experts, executives from multiple fields, representatives of government organizations, law firms, policy makers and foreign dignitaries to raise awareness about the linkage between innovation and IP and the critical role of commercialization as well as branding.
Mr. Muhammad Anwar Faried, Director Innovation & Commercialization (I&C) Directorate NUST, welcomed all the participants and highlighted the significance of Industry-Academia Linkages in fostering innovation and commercialization.
Dr. Rizwan Riaz, CEO NUST Holdings Pvt. Ltd & Pro Rector Research, Innovation & Commercialization (RIC), protracted his compliments to the guests from academia and industry and assured all stakeholders of his complete support in order to take this initiative to new heights.
Event entailed 3 panel sessions which focused on role of academic institutions in fostering innovation by promoting scientific research, significance of academia-industry linkages and promoting intellectual property awareness and role of government in supporting innovation and increasing brand protection.
First panel session on Role of Academic Institutions in Fostering Innovation by Promoting Scientific Research was attended by Dr. Osman Hasan, Pro Rector Academics from NUST, and Dr. Shaista Sohail, Chairperson Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, Mr. Shakeel Munir, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce, and Industry (ICCI), and Ms. Scarlet Xiang, Director China Studies Centre (CSC) representing Industry and Government organizations. The session emphasized on cross-cutting role of intellectual property in branding and commercialization of products invented/produced by universities. It also highlighted how NUST has set examples of partnerships between the research community, corporate sector and the government.
The second panel session highlighted the Academia-Industry Linkages and Promoting Intellectual Property Awareness. The panel was represented by Ms. Olga Spasic – Head Technology Transfer WIPO, Mr. Shehryar Ali Shah, Chief Digital Officer, Askari Bank, and Mr. Meesaq Arif – Executive Director IPO. The discussion determined the importance of the link between industry and academia, and tangible steps that should be taken by the academia to better align themselves with the industry. It also highlighted the significance of Industry-academia linkages and its role in catalyzing innovation.
The third and last panel session underlined the Role of Government in Supporting Innovation and Increasing Brand Protection. Dr. Rizwan Riaz, CEO NUST Holdings Pvt. Ltd & Pro Rector Research, Innovation & Commercialization, represented NUST/Academia and from industry side we had with us Mr. Zouhair Khaliq, Founder and Partner Teamup Ventures, Mr. Hassan Irfan Khan, Managing Partner United Trademark & Patent Services/Irfan&Irfan. The panel addressed the measures taken by the Government to support innovation, particularly university research and startups and will generate ideas and identify proposals for a more facilitating IP regime in Pakistan.
37 innovative projects and technologies of NUST were also part of the exhibition, displayed during the Summit. Rector NUST, Engr. Javed Mahmood Bukhari, and Chairperson Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, Dr. Shaista Sohail, along with the senior guests from industry and academia visited the stalls and interacted with NUST researchers, students and faculty.
NUST always takes pride in its endeavors to build a healthy relationship with the industry for the greater good of the society. We always look forward to avenues for developing collaboration with the industry partners. NUST has set a new precedent of transferring technology to the industry which is indeed an important milestone in the 30-year life of the university. This will bring many benefits to the university and the concerned industries. We are pleased to share that NUST has filed 1000 IPs patents out of which 200 have been awarded and has licensed 70 of its Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) to the industry which is itself a big milestone. Towards the end of the summit, a cake cutting ceremony was held to celebrate the landmark achieved by any Pakistani University.
Chief Guest, Dr. Shaista Sohail, Chairperson Higher Education of Commission, Pakistan, emphasised on the cross-cutting role of intellectual property in branding and commercialization of products invented/produced by universities. She expressed her compliments to the guests from Academia, Industry, Representatives from Government Organizations, Ambassadors of Somalia, Palestine and Norway to Pakistan, International counterparts, Law Firms/Policy Makers and assured complete support and continued interaction in future.
The author is working as Manager, at Corporate Advisory Council, Research, Innovation & Commercialisation (RIC), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.