Pakistan is far behind in the race of product development and its export in international markets. The major challenge is the non-involvement of the government in the development of science and technology.
The world has made enormous progress by the academia-industry linkage and now Pakistan along with many other Asian countries have started emphasising the need to bridge the academia and industry for scientific and economic developments.
These observations were made by Indus Pharma Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Muhammad Naeem while addressing a seminar, titled ‘Importance of strengthening academia-industry linkage’, which was held at Barrett Hodgson University (BHU) on Wednesday.
He said: “To reduce the gap between industry and academia, we take academic institutions as our innovation partners. Academia lends easy access to knowledge to the industry for conducting applied research. In turn, the technology produced by the industry is used by the academia to carry out the basic research on a more detailed and extended level.”
He suggested that being informed about the importance of collaboration, the government should act to initialise a fellowship programme between industries and universities.
Naeem was of the view that policies for the academia-industry linkage were statutory to strengthen scientific developments, and industries should include students to train them as part of their research and innovation departments.
Elaborating his point of view, he explained that students could benefit the industry with new innovative ideas and also solve industrial problems with their unconventional approach. Dr Joachim Herzig of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany, highlighting the importance of the academia-industry linkage, said: “The West developed themselves by the fellowship of the educational institutes with the industry, as this collaboration can play a paramount role in student recruitment, retention and workforce development from within the local economy. It would impact unemployment rates and contribute to the overall betterment of economy.”
Dr Muhammad Ayub the Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, said: “National development is impossible without the interests of political government and major reforms in higher education. Students of the universities should attain professional training from collaborating industry in the form of internship. The universities should give students more opportunities of academic research that could be applied effectively to resolve the real world problems.”
“To overcome the issue of rising unemployment, the universities should train students so effectively during their academic tenure that they should become job creators instead of job seekers. Because that is how we can expand and develop our industrial sector. It would also help invent new business models that are rapidly gaining the grounds all over the world,” he said.