The Higher Education Commission (HEC), has invited applications from the Pakistani young innovators and entrepreneurs for funding under the Prime Minister’s National Innovation Award to turn their ideas into businesses. According to HEC on Friday, the youth aged between 15 to 30 may submit their proposals through www.pmyp.gov.pk by November 15, 2022. The Prime Minister’s National Innovation Award is a flagship programme of the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme being executed by HEC. The objective of the innovation award is to improve Pakistan’s ranking in the Global Innovation Index, foster entrepreneurial culture among youth, and transform ideas into businesses. It is an open opportunity for all Pakistani youth to propose innovative ideas and get funding and technical support from industry experts along with a six-month incubation opportunity to convert their ideas into a flourishing business. A total of 250 innovators will get the chance of ‘Idea Pitching Training’ for their innovative ideas. However, 50 ideas will be finalised for the award. The maximum funding provided to a single startup is up to Rs. 2 million to be divided into two phases. Initially, an amount of Rs. 1 million will be provided to the top 10 selected ideas each, while the rest of the 40 ideas will get up to Rs. 0.5 million each in funding. In the corresponding phase, all 50 winners may also request supplementary funds up to Rs. 1 million in addition to the award money as per their requirements to scale up their innovative ideas through Business Incubation Centres (BICs) as a follow-up programme. The additional funding will be given through respective BICs and will be tied to startup deliverables and approved budget. The Prime Minister’ National Innovation Award will help motivate youth to use their innovative skills and thus contribute to the society and the country’s economy. This will also help resolve the local challenges. The award is open to all kinds of innovative ideas including but not limited to Food Security, Water Management and Sustainability, Sustainable Energy, Urban Planning, Climate Change and Environment, Information Technology and Telecom, Innovative Governance and Reforms, Sociology and Philosophy, Medical and Health Sciences, and others. The selection of awards will be made through an open, rigorous, transparent, competitive, and merit-based process. The Prime Minister’s Youth Programme hosts five different youth-centric projects being executed by HEC. The initiatives include National Innovation Award, Talent Hunt Youth Sports League, Establishment of Sports Academies, Green Youth Movement, and Digital Youth Development Programme. The projects aim at shaping youth through financial empowerment, engagement in healthy activities, and skill development.