Islamabad:UK-Pakistan Science Innovation Global Network (UPSIGN), a UK based charitable network of academics and professionals, has partnered with UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) and other partners, to organise three International development workshops in Islamabad, Pakistan on 9 -12th March 2020 in partnership with COMSATS University.
Over 150 distinguished academics from the UK, Pakistan as well as the region will travel to Islamabad to take part in the International workshops addressing thematic areas of regional sustainable development challenges in food security, agriculture and nutrition, affordable healthcare as well as clean and affordable energy and water in Pakistan. The workshops will create and foster new academic relationships and develop new networks of scientists and researchers to address challenges aligned with the UN sustainable development goals (UN-SDGs).
The UKRI Lead Prof Nicola said, “UKRI is excited to work in Pakistan, to address challenges aligned to the UN-SDGs, indeed, UKRI has allocated a total of £1.5b for research in partnership with low and middle income countries to address such challenges through its Global Challenges Research Fund.” UKRI is investing up to 200,000 GBP on these workshops. Prof. Dr. Raheel Qamar, Rector COMSATS University Islamabad while lauding the efforts of the organisers, said that “the Pakistan is grateful to UPSIGN charitable network and UKRI for bringing so many high quality scientific researchers to Pakistan to develop partnerships with Pakistani counterparts, including researchers from COMSATS University, for addressing socio-economic development challenges.”
Prof. Jawwad Darr, chairman of UPSIGN Network (A British Pakistani) said, “I’m very proud of the UPSIGN team’s efforts to volunteer their time and proactively facilitate British and other scientists to partner with each other for mutual benefit of the UK, Pakistan and the SE Asia Region” Dr Khalid Mahmood, Co-founder of UPSIGN said that this was an exciting time where top universities and research institutes were taking part in the workshops. Overall the workshops have invited participation of researchers from more than 30 UK universities and research institutes.” At the recent pre-workshop launch event in London in February 2020, the Pakistan High Commissioner in the UK, Muhammad Nafees Zakaria lauded the efforts of UKRI and UPSIGN for this marvellous and timely initiative; “Pakistan has a long history of working in partnership with its UK diaspora, so it’s fantastic to see British Pakistani professionals creating initiatives like this that have the potential to be impactful and sustainable for the mutual benefit of both nations” The workshops are particularly important as they are in line with the vision of Prime Minister, Imran Khan for opening up avenues of scientific cooperation of Pakistani scientists with their UK counterparts and will help contribute in much required image building of Pakistan as well as address its challenges of socio-economic development with locally developed solutions.