LAHORE - The Planning and Development Board arranged a session on its recently established Research and Development Fund under which the Punjab government will fund quality research projects of universities to promote research and development projects.

P&D Board Chairman Habib-ur-Rehman Gilani said this on Wednesday. He was accompanied by Chief Economist Bilal Butt, Joint Chief Economist Dr Aman Ullah and members of the board. Vice chancellors and representatives of academic institutions from all over Punjab and industry representatives also attended the session.

Habib-ur-Rehman Gilani said that due to a lack of funding for R&D, universities, think-tanks and research institutes are lagging behind in producing research that is relevant to needs of policymakers and industry.

He added: “Through the recently launched R&D project, we will strengthen universities/research institutes’ capacity to prepare and undertake quality research work.”

“P&D would like to encourage universities, research institutes, chamber and industry bodies to support the R&D project, by bringing new research topics and innovative ideas for improving the standard and usefulness of applied research and boosting industrial productivity,” he said.

Dr Aman Ullah in his presentation gave a detailed overview of the contribution of R&D to public and private sector.

It is pertinent to mention that, P&D Board has recently established the “Research & Development/Technical Support Fund for Academia, as a means for financing research activities that will contribute to developing market-oriented solutions for key industrial sectors and policy solutions.

It will enable Punjab government to outsource innovative research ideas brought forward by the Private Sector to Academia for providing an enabling business environment in the province, speaker said.