The OIC Ministerial Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan launched “COMSTECH Consortium of Excellence (CCoE)” on Wednesday comprising of leading academic and research institutions of Pakistan and OIC member states in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The launching ceremony of CCoE held at COMSTECH under the chairmanship of Coordinator General, COMSTECH, Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary while Mr. Sohail Mahmood, Foreign Secretary of Pakistan were the chief guest. The Vice Chancellors and senior officials of Quaid e Azam University, Islamia University Bahawalpur, National University of Sciences and Technology, Government College University, Lahore, Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, and University of the Punjab.

In his inaugural address, Prof. Dr. Iqbal Choudhary, said the purpose of CCoE is to put our efforts to achieve excellence in partnership. He said that Pakistan has done a lot in the area of science and technology and now its time reap the benefit by showcasing Pakistan. He said that this forum would bring technology to Pakistan and would help in internationalization of the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The COMSTECH – MoFA collaboration will open new avenues in science diplomacy. Dr. Iqbal mentioned that COMSTECH being the apex body in OIC science arena gives Pakistan a leading role in the area of science technology and innovation. He discussed the current state of OIC member states and provided a comprehensive report of COMSTECH activities.

CCoE is launched under the “Science Diplomacy Initiative” of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Government of Pakistan. Mr. Sohail Mahmood, Foreign Secretary of Pakistan said that the higher education institutions are shaping the future of Pakistan. He said that the CCoE initiative is conceived to provide the platform to the leading universities of Pakistan and the universities of the OIC member states to cooperate, collaborate and showcase their achievements.

He informed that the MoFA has launched multipurpose science diplomacy initiative to create linkages between partners and popularize science. He said that this forum will help in trade boost. The Foreign Secretary mentioned that COMSTECH has responsibility to enhance science, technology and innovation in OIC member states and commended the current efforts of COMSTECH and its leadership for initiating new projects like CCoE.

Vice chancellors and senior officials of the CCoE founding member universities of Pakistan shared current programmes. They also offered their cooperation and support to collaborate and cooperate under the umbrella of CCoE.