As a means of encouraging quality applied research and innovation in the academia and Private Sector, the Planning and Development Board arranged a session on its recently established Research and Development Fund. The Seminar was chaired by Chairman P&D Board Habib-ur-Rehman Gilani accompanied by Chief Economist Bilal Butt, Joint Chief Economist Dr. Aman Ullah and members of the board were in attendance. 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 encourage educational institutions to incest time, energy and resources for quality research.
Chairman P&D Board, Habib-ur-Rehman Gilani on the occasion said that due to lack of funding for R&D, universities, think-tanks and research Institutes are lagging behind in producing research that is relevant to the needs of policy makers and industry. For this purpose we have initiated the R&D project on the basis of Triple Helix Model, whereby through hybridization of elements from university/research institutes, industry and government we wish to generate and new institutions and social formats for the production, transfer, and application of knowledge will be available."
He further added "Through the R&D project, we will strengthen universities/research institutes’ capacity to prepare and undertake quality research work. 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 Punjab government to achieve its mission and goals. He added that P&D would like to encourage universities, research institutes, chambers 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 citing international examples from developed and developing countries.
The collaborations undertaken in the program are expected to allow public sector and commercial entities to develop a streamlined mechanism for maximizing 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 as 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.