6th Annual “Invention to Innovation” Summit held in Lahore ECOSF among the main supporters

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The 6thAnnual Invention to Innovation Summit was held at the University of Punjab in Lahore on March 8-9, 2017. The summit was organized by University of Punjab and University of Management Technology in collaboration with Institute of Research Promotion (IRP) and Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) along with many other partners including the ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF). The Summit attracted a large number of participants that included policy makers, academicians, business community, industry, students and civil society representative etc. The summit provided an opportunity for students to showcase their research work and innovative products and as well as a platform to strengthen academia-industry linkages. The summit included various thematic sessions, exhibitions & poster contest, lectures and presentations etc.

On behalf of ECOSF, Mr. Khalil Raza, Scientific Officer and Mr. Ghulam Abbas, Assistant Director (Programs) participated in the summit and made their presentations during their respective thematic sessions. It is pertinent to mention and a pride for ECOSF that its President Professor Manzoor H. Soomro is among the three founders of the Innovation Summit in 2012 when he was Chairman of PSF.

Mr. Khalil Raza, Scientific Officer, made his presentation on “Sustainable Energy for All: The Strategy and Way Forward”. He presented the current status of Sustainable Energy for All (SDG 7) in Pakistan. He proposed a strategy as to what measures needs to be implemented to achieve SDG 7 in the country. He highlighted that over 130 million people in Pakistan do not have access to natural gas and over 60 million people have no access to electricity. He emphasized that expansion of power and gas network to make energy available to such a large number of people is not feasible through current conventional technologies. But, renewables and potentially the off-grid technologies, such as solar, wind and biogas are better alternatives to provide reliable access to energy in the marginalized areas, where the extension of existing grid in remote region in Pakistan is quite unlikely to reach.

In his presentation, Mr. Khalil also provided a snapshot of energy sector and rich energy potential of the ECO region. He further stressed to make efforts for better regional cooperation and effective utilization of this massive energy resource which can only be achieved with adequate planning and management. Workable implementation strategy will be critical for enabling the ECO member states to achieve self-sufficiency and energy security in the region.

Mr. Ghulam Abbas gave a detailed presentation on ECOSF. During his presentation, he briefly touched upon the history and establishment of the Foundation. He also introduced the aims and objectives of the Foundation to the participants highlighting the main aim of the Foundation; to promote Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) based economic development in ECO region. He further said that ECOSF has set some priority research areas viz., Energy, Water, Food security and Climate Change for ECO region and accordingly, the concept proposals have been invited for research funding.

Mr. Abbas informed the participants that science education plays a pivotal role in enhancing critical thinking, training of mind, understating the world, solving problems and making the right decisions. Keeping in view the importance, ECOSF has initiated Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE) programme in ECO region. Through, IBSE, children are engaged in small hands-on trainings to develop ‘inquiry’ about science and knowledge.

Mr. Abbas mentioned that for empowering and mobilizing youth and accelerating the implementation of sustainable solutions in the community at national and international levels, an AppIdea2R (from Application Idea to Reality) Contest has been launched by the Foundation which aims to promote development of software applications on SDGs related to one or more of the SDGs for web, personal computer, mobile handheld device, console, SMS, or any software platform broadly available to the public. He also shared some major activities done by the Foundation and invited participants to take maximum benefits from the programmes of the Foundation.

An award of Rs.25000/- was also given by ECOSF in the category related to goal six of UN SDG i.e. Clean Water and Sanitation which was won by National University of Science & Technology (NUST) team.

At the end, a shield and certificate were presented to both the presenters of ECOSF by the main organizers.

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