Strong academia-industry linkages, knowledge-based economy and innovative thinking are imperative to address the issues of industries, common man, farmers thereby alleviating poverty and making progress, said the speaker including educationists and industrialists at an event here on Saturday.

It was echoed at the launching ceremony of an innovation and entrepreneurship event titled “DICE 2015” held at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad.

The event is arranged by Dice Foundation and Office of Research Innovation and Commercialization (ORIC), UAF.

Speaking as the chief guest, Pakistan Council for Science and Technology Chairman Dr Anwarul Hassan Gilani said that it was the era of knowledge-based economy. The academia, industry and government play a pivotal role in solving different issues for prosperity. He said that Japan is the hub of technology because of knowledge based economy as the Japanese bring value-addition to their products. He said that in the United States in 1960, two-third of total research grant had to come from the government while one-third from the private sector. But now in the US, one-third of the total research grant is from the government and 2/3 comes from the private sector, he mentioned. He said that the PCST was taking all possible steps to flourish the culture of tangible research and to strengthen the linkages among the academia and industry and other stakeholders. He urged the universities to conduct valuable research programmes to bring positive results.

UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad said tangible research programmes were being conducted. The research results should not be piled up in the libraries, he said, adding that the UAF had expedited its outreach programmes to transform the knowledge into goods and services in order to benefit the society.

He said that USAID’s Centre for Advanced Study in Food Security and Agriculture was being established at the UAF. He praised the efforts of agricultural scientists for food security for the ever-increasing population.   

On the occasion, Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Rizwan Ashraf said that there was trust deficit in the academia and industry. He called for enhanced efforts and tangible research work of the academia to lead the change process and to lead the industry. He said it was a matter of concern that percentage of spending on education in the budget is very low compared to other countries. He said, “We are facing scarcity of human resources.”

He stressed a need for working together for poverty alleviation. He said that Pakistan was faced with water scarcity whereas we are growing rice which demands huge capacity of water. He added alternative approaches are necessary to tackle different issues.

Government College University Faisalabad Vice Chancellor Dr Muhammad Ali said that universities in the city were working together for strengthened ties. He said that mechanism was being devised for starting credit sharing and joint degree and research programmes in the city. He lauded the UAF for finding space in the 100 best university of the globe and role of UAF ORIC for best contributions.

ORIC Director Dr Asif Ali said the event is aimed at providing a common platform for academia and industry to work on innovative ideas and products and to use the innovation as the tool of wealth of the nation.

Dr Wasim Ahmad said that in Dice, students from all universities will participate and. He said last year, UAF has clinched the first position in the Dice competition. Dr Sehar Munir said the country was blessed with tremendous talent and there was need to explore it. Afaq Twana from Farmers Associate Pakistan, MP Namja Afzal and other notables were also present. UAF Students who have proved their mettle in innovation Arslan Afzal and Umair Zafar also spoke on the occasion.