HEC sponsors Rs2 billion R&D projects through Technology Fund


ISLAMABAD: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) is sponsoring a number of research and development (R&D) projects worth Rs2 billion through Technology Development Fund.

Ghulam Sarwar, HEC Project Coordinator for R&D, told WealthPK that the HEC is also collaborating with the US, Pak-Turk, Pak-France and British Council. The programs include Pak-France Peridot Research Program, Pak-Turk Researchers’ Mobility Grant Program, Pakistan Program for Collaborative Research (PPCR), and Pak-US Joint Research Program.

Ghulam Sarwar said there are more than 200 projects under Technology Development Fund, and most of them are in final stages of completion. The HEC sponsored the research faculty of different universities through the fund.
“This HEC fund is tech-business oriented. It includes how the research can be practically implemented in business and in industry,” he added.
Ghulam Sarwar said many products and prototypes created by the researchers are commercialized through this initiative, which is a joint venture of academia and industry. He said Rs2 billion have been invested in Technology Development Fund. Capital funding is provided for lab skill prototyping and licensing, and other financing of the projects. He explained that the HEC projects have the lifecycle of three to five years.
“More than 90 researchers have completed their PhD and 150 researchers have completed their MS through this initiative.

More than 280 publications have been published, and 90 plus trademarks have been registered, and more than 30 copyrights were licensed,” he said.
Ghulam Sarwar said the main aim of the HEC projects was the transfer of technology. Researchers have theoretical knowledge about specialized technology, but they don’t have the platform to apply this knowledge. So, the HEC bridges the gap and provides a platform linking industry and academia.
The industry needs new technology and practical implementation of theoretical knowledge. So, this initiative of the HEC provides technology needed by the industry. The projects to be used for commercialization are funded by Technology Development Fund.

Ghulam Sarwar said that through this initiative, the HEC is completing the sustainable development goal (SDG) 9 that is to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation. He said that through this fund, industrialization is promoted in an innovative way. He added that the HEC is also contributing to achievement of SDG-8 that is to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
“Through this we are providing job opportunities in the industry. We have created 100% human resource opportunities to promote sustainable economic development. The HEC is trying to end poverty through technology, which also conforms with SDG-1 that is to end poverty in all forms everywhere,” he said.
The HEC grants other than Technology Development Fund include Grand Challenge Fund (GCF), Local Challenge Fund (LCF), Technology Transfer Support Fund (TTSF), Innovative & Collaborative Research Grant (ICRG), National Research Program for Universities (NRPU), Problem Based Applied Interdisciplinary Research Program (PBAIRP), RAPID Research & Innovation Initiative (RRII) and CPEC Collaborative Research Grant.