International Conference on Science, Technology, Innovation Policy and Management (STIPM-2016) at Karachi-Pakistan

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Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET) Institute of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy and Management (MUISTD) in collaboration with ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF), Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST), sponsored by Higher Education Commission (HEC) organized the 1st International Conference on Science, Technology Innovation Policy and Management (STIPM-2016) on November 16-17, 2016, at Karachi.   Experts from across Pakistan and International Science, Technology & Innovation Centre (ISTIC), University Technology Malaysia (UTM)-Malaysia, KISTEP Seoul- South Korea and University of Isfahan Iran as well as from UK and Nigeria joined the conference. A large number of MUISTD students also attended the conference.

The conference aimed to; Provide a forum to STI community for the presentation and discussion of the STIPM best practices adopted at national and international levels; addressing the need, challenges and strategies involved related to designing and implementation of STI Policy and to stimulate and exchange new ideas and approaches for STIPM and related studies required. The 2 days of programme included keynote speeches, papers presentation and plenary panels on global trends in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy and Management.

H.E Mr. Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Minister for Planning & Development Department, Government of Sindh inaugurated the conference as Chief Guest.He appreciated the theme of conference and stressed on need for capacity building and research in STI policy. He assured of their patronage and announced a grant of 0.500 Million.  Mr. Fazal Abbas Maken, Federal Secretary to Ministry of Science and Technology, Pakistan also noted his remarks as a Guest of Honor and shared the STI policy and strategy of Pakistan. Earlier Prof. Dr. Mohammad Aslam Uqaili Vice Chancellor, Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET), Jamshoro opened the conference with his welcome note. He thanked all the partners for their support in organizing this international conference.  Prof. Dr. Arabella Bhutto Co-Director, MUET presented the Objectives of the STIPM Conference.  Key note speakers included Prof. Dr. S.M. Qureshi, Former Federal Secretary of Science and Technology, Pakistan; Prof. Dr. Manzoor Soomro, President ECO, Science Foundation and Prof. Dr. Anwar-ul-Hassan Gilani Chairman, Pakistan Council for Science and Technology, Pakistan.

Professor Dr. Manzoor Hussain Soomro in his keynote address made a power point presentation entitled, “Role of STEM Education towards Sustainable STI Policy and Economic Development”. After giving a brief introduction of ECO Science Foundation, its aims, objectives and activities, Professor Soomro mentioned that, “key to economic development of a country lies in its ability to innovate and effectively exploit innovations. In today’s competitive world, only those countries can be successful in managing their economies, which possess: Technologically skilled human resource; Indigenous capability in latest technologies and a strong ecosystem for innovation & business development”. “Investment in STI is essential for economic development”, he further added. He focused that Innovation geared towards sustainable development has the potential to uplift economic growth, create jobs, boost social development, as well as contribute to environmental protection and conservation, however it requires a clear strategy that puts science and education at its core. “STI activities like R&D, technology transfer, adoption or adaptation, have different needs and have to be promoted in a balanced way”, he noted.

Professor Soomro focused on the need to strengthen  the  interface  between  science,   society  and policy to create  knowledge  societies  which  should allow  everyone an equal  access  to  essential  living  resources; and managing  environmental  problems  efficiently,  requires  well-designed  public  policies  or  coordination  among  stakeholders  and  synergies  between  academia (university)-policymakers, industry  and  civil  society. While focusing on the quality and inquiry based education he said, “Empowering young children to live responsible lives and to address complex global challenges means; that through education (especially STEM/STEAM education), we have to promote competency of critical thinking for imagining future scenarios and making positive & progressive decisions in a collaborative way” 

It is pertinent to mention that ECOSF, MUET and Technology Times signed MoU for cooperation on AppIdea2R' 17 Contest - System Apps for Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs). Three other MoUs were also signed by MUET on the occasion and those included with; UTM, PCST and KISTEP for cooperation in STI Policy and Management.

Two days of the International conference concluded to sharpen the strategy for implementation of STI Policy of Pakistan and to plan initiatives for Capacity Building of Human Resources in Policy making.

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