Lahore - The researchers of the Lahore School’s Innovation and Technology Center launched a novel rexine subsidy project in order to help Sialkot football manufacturers overcome the high cost of imported rexine. In this project more than 70 firms from the Sialkot football sector were invited to an event in which 30 firms were selected to receive high value vouchers from the Lahore School of Economics that can be used to purchase high-quality foreign Rexine at a large discount. This initiative has been launched under the newly established Innovation and Technology Center of the  Lahore School of Economics.  This Innovation and Technology Center will conduct cutting edge research on the role of innovation and technology in the economic growth and development.  The research team at the Lahore School of Economics has been conducting internationally recognized research on technology in the football sector in Sialkot for the last 5 years with the support of the Government of Punjab and the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce. This research has been jointly conducted by researchers at the Lahore School of Economics, Columbia University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  The Innovation and Technology center is currently engaged in an international project to benchmark technology and productivity in the Pakistani garments sector and will also benchmark technology and productivity in the Sialkot football sector and the Sialkot surgical goods sector.  Dr. Azam Amjad Chaudhry (Dean and Professor, Lahore School of Economics), Professor Shamyla Chaudry (Professor, Lahore School of Economics), and Tariq Raza (Project Coordinator, Lahore School of Economics) conducted the rexine subsidy event. They welcomed the participants from the football sector and explained the critical role of innovation and technology in productivity and output growth as well as greater exports for the sector.

Dr. Azam Amjad Chaudhry then discussed the Lahore School’s new Innovation and Technology Sector and how it will promote cutting edge technology in the Sialkot football sector and explained how the new rexine subsidy project will enable firms to produce higher quality footballs which has the potential to increase exports. Dr. Chaudhry also discussed the plan to launch an innovation fund to promote innovative ideas in Punjab.  Dr. Eric Verhoogen from Columbia University also discussed the trends in Pakistani football exports and how manufacturers will need to focus on productivity to compete with global players like China.