First series of STICKS – Strategic Talks on Innovation & Commercialization for Knowledge Sharing – Fall 2021, was held at National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) on Thursday. The theme and scope of the event was to discuss and highlight the barriers between academia and industry, innovation, commercialization & entrepreneurship, and thereby devise strategies. To fulfil this aim, NUST invited top industry experts and executives from multiple fields to help facilitate this process and enhance the research and innovation potential of the academia, so that researchers and students are better aligned with market trends and expectations.
Event entailed 3 panel sessions that focused on enhancing commercialization of research, significance of industry – academia linkages, and inculcating the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship among our students.
First panel session on enhancing commercialization of research projects and technologies was attended by Dr. Rizwan Riaz, CEO NUST Holdings Pvt. Ltd & Pro Rector Research, Innovation & Commercialization, from NUST and Mr. Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO Telenor Pakistan, Mr. Faisal Shuja Khan, Chief Executive Officer, Ovex Technologies Pakistan (Pvt.) Limited, and Mr. Adnan Zafar, Deputy CTO Huawei, from the industry. The session emphasized on various challenges being faced by the researchers to commercialize the technologies. Role of industry and academia to facilitate the overall commercialization ecosystem was discussed in detail.
Our second panel session highlighted the significance of bridging gap between industry and academia. The panel was represented by Dr. Osman Hassan, Pro Rector Academics from NUST, and Mr. Khalid Khan, Chairman, Central Asian Cellular Forum, Dr. Ayesha Mujeeb, Scientific Advisor & Shareholder Manchester BIOGEL and Mr. Mohsin M. Syed, Chairman Hybrid Technics Pvt. Ltd. from the industry. 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. Industry and Academia, as the major stakeholders of the Quadruple Helix Model of Innovation, must play their desirable roles in changing mindset of students from job-seekers to job-creators.
The third and last panel session underlined the importance of inculcating the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship among our researchers. Mr. Rao Sabir Ali Khan, Chief of Finance & Business Development, represented NUST/Academia and from industry side we had with us Mr. Imtiaz Rastgar, Managing Director, Rastgar Group, Mr. Mohammad Imran, CEO Green Homes Developers and Mr. Ammar Hussain Jaffri, Chairman, Industry Revolution Academy Pakistan. All panelists unanimously agreed upon making the commercialization process easier in terms of business development and in-depth market analysis. Industry was also willing to facilitate the university in encouraging local technologies by providing the pertinent funding and in-kind technical support.
Dr. Rizwan Riaz, Pro Rector, Research, Innovation and Commercialisation (RIC) protracted his compliments to the guests from academia and industry and assured industry of his complete support and continued interaction in order to take this initiative to new heights.
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 email@example.com.