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August 22, 2019

Research institutes facing funds shortage


August 22, 2019

LAHORE: Planning and Development (P&D) Board Chairman Habib-ur-Rehman Gilani has said due to lack of funding for research and development, universities, think-tanks and research institutes are lagging behind in producing research that is relevant to the needs of policymakers and industry.

For this purpose, the Punjab government has initiated research and development project on the basis of triple helix model through hybridization of elements from university/ research institute, industry and government. The government wants to generate new institutional and social formats for the production, transfer, and application of knowledge.

He was addressing a session on recently established research and development fund by the Planning and Development Board to encourage quality applied research and innovation in academia and private sector. Vice-Chancellors and representatives of academic institutions from all over Punjab and industry representatives attended the session

The P&D Board has recently established the “Research & Development (R&D) / 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. This 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 as well as encouraging educational institutions to invest time, energy and resources for quality research, he said.

Habib-ur-Rehman Gilani said that the Punjab government will strengthen universities/research institutes’ capacity to prepare and undertake quality research work through the R&D project. Under this project, all stakeholders can be expected to conduct applied research, short diagnostics, prepare policy papers and bring the necessary expertise to discuss options available for the Punjab government to achieve its mission and goals. He said that the 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.

Dr Aman Ullah, Joint Chief Economist, in a presentation gave a detailed overview of the contribution of R&D in public and private sector including citing international examples from developed and developing countries.

The collaborations undertaken in the programme are expected to allow Public Sector and Commercial Entities to develop a streamlined mechanism for maximising private sector engagement, knowledge creation, skills development and sustainable solutions for consideration during policy formulation. Furthermore, this initiative will also contribute to improvement in the overall capability of academic institutions to innovate and bridge the gap to develop systems that cater to the needs of the modern economy through the establishment of long term Industrial – Government – Academia Linkages.

Academia and Industry representatives hailed this initiative and hoped that the government will support in removing barriers and encouraging initiatives for applied research and innovative solutions in the province.

They also termed it the right step for the policy formulation process informed by good research and evidence which is aligned with sectoral policies and well-grounded in the principles of value for money.

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