ISLAMABAD: To promote the employment-generating practice of self-entrepreneurship, incubation centres will be established in public sector universities. This will be done by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in collaboration with Competitive Support Fund (CSF).
In this regard, a three-day training workshop will be held in Islamabad from Monday, which will be attended by faculty members of as many as 22 universities from across the country. “Comsats Institute of Information and Technology and National University of Science and Technology (Nust) will also be partners in this workshop,” said an official in HEC.
The workshop will be conducted by three international resource persons.
Two of them, Dr Steven C Price and Dr Ron Duggins, are scientists and experienced educationists.
They also have expertise in the field of small business development, innovation and entrepreneurship. Working mainly in the area of incubation and Technology Park establishment, development and management training, they will be supported by Mr Yang, an International Attorney-Advisor on Commercial Law Development programme.
The universities have been selected after considering their progress in Research and Development, availability of business and management departments, and linkages with the industries.
A committee, represented by all the concerned stakeholders will select the interested companies after scrutinising their eligibility criteria.
The selection committee comprises Vice Chancellors of the selected universities, representatives from CSF, HEC and the concerned faculty members. In the first phase, three universities will be selected for establishing incubation centres.
HEC and CSF will equally bear the business cost of the centres. The 50 per cent share of the HEC will further be divided with the ratio of 3:2 between the HEC and selected universities.
The HEC official said that initially, 22 public sector universities from all the provinces have been indentified and one representative would attend the workshop.
Noshaba Owais, HEC Deputy Director Project said that the idea was an effort towards a knowledge-based economy, which would be fully supported through research and HR development programs of HEC.
She said that HEC, with the help of available expertise, was bringing university experts closer to industries for knowledge transfer. “It will pave the way to bring innovation in Pakistani industrial production and ensure its competitiveness in the global market,” she maintained.
She was of the view that the move will surely encourage youth to come forward and instead of searching for jobs, establish their own businesses and be the job providers.
“The business incubation idea is an economic tool designed to accelerate the growth and success of entrepreneurial companies through any array of business support resources and services,” she said.
The first incubation centre has already been established at the University of Agriculture of Faisalabad, where 16 companies with university faculty/researchers and industrial partners have been inducted to pilot their projects
Published in The Express Tribune, December 6th, 2010.