Thursday May 19, 2022

Dialogue for strengthening academia-industry linkages held

By Our Correspondent
September 26, 2021

Rawalpindi: A policy dialogue was conducted at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) in order to strengthen the academia-industry linkages for economic development of Pakistan.

The main objective of the event was to bring together the academia, industry & researchers to discuss the way forward for agricultural/industrial development which can lead to the economic development of Pakistan.

The Vice Chancellor of the university Prof. Dr. Qamar-uz-Zaman participated as a chief guest in the policy dialogue along with representatives of industry, research, NGOs, Corporate sector and Deans/ Directors of various faculties of the university. In the opening remarks, Prof. Dr. Khalid Saifullah Khan, Director ORIC of the university high-lighted the importance of academia-industry linkages for innovative research leading to market oriented products and technology development.

Prof. Dr. Khalid said that developed countries have built up a strong link between their researchers and the industry which is the major reason behind their economic dominance. He further said that our industrial sector badly needs applied research to resolve the real life problems of the market. Graduate students of the universities should be given access to the industry as part of their internship programme for hands-on experience.

Prof. Dr Qamar-uz-Zaman, Vice Chancellor of the university in his speech said that industry, research and academia must be strongly connected as none can progress working in silos. He said that strong Industry academia linkages possess a wide range of benefits that can influence universities, companies, society and the nations. This linkage promotes innovation in the society leading to development of new products and technologies. He further stated that strong linkage of academia and industry can also act as a breeding ground to promote the development of new industries that can stimulate a competitive advantage for Pakistan globally. While highlighting the issues, Dr. Zaman said, for the last 70 years, strong and the smooth working relationship could not be established between universities and the industry in Pakistan, for a variety of reasons, the most compelling among them is the lack of interest and realization of its potential, in both the academia and industry.

The universities in Pakistan have become more or less traditional teaching institutes mainly concerned with producing poorly skilled and inadequately trained graduates, which are of little or no use of industry as the industries need skilled professionals, he added. Dr Rai Muhammad Amir, Additional Director Industry Linkages focused that Industries should be encouraged to establish R&D units within their premises.