HEC removes GCU VC from VCs search committee The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has announced 4th call for proposals for Technology Development Fund (TDF) from academia & industry to strengthen linkages in Pakistan for inclusion, adoption and promotion of newly developed technologies and support viable commercial ideas. According to official sources in HEC, the objective of the initiative is the venture proposals invited from match-made academia & industry, with the mission to solve a current industrial, economic, or technological problem having a socio-economic impact, value creation, innovation, import-substitution and indigenization. HEC has announced the joint proposals from academia-industry initiated by Higher Educational Institutions through ORIC/Directorate of Research must reach HEC, no later than December 20, 2022. As per HEC, financial support up to 14 million PKRs will be provided to the successful proposals. HEC uplifted Made in Pakistan ambition through Technology Development Fund with over 150 products licensed to partner industries. As per eligibility criteria, the faculty members of public & private sector Higher Education Institutions with relevant commercialization partners from industry/ investor/ private/ public sector R&D institutes/ Spin-offs / Start-ups at leading Incubation Centres or Accelerators, are eligible to apply for the proposals. However, the preference will be given to the proposals having strong industrial collaboration with financial and technical commitment. The aim of Higher Education Commissionáis “to facilitate institutions of higher learning to serve as engines for socio-economic development of Pakistan,” as stated in itsámission statement. Along these lines, HEC took the initiative to finance proposals of completed interdisciplinary applied research for prototype development and industrial value addition for tech based product or processádevelopment. In this way, HEC envisages helping the productive minds of Pakistan to impact the economy through the development of new and emerging technologies, the sources informed. This initiative, the sources said, enabled the research ecosystem lied with HEIs/ Universities to be available for the industry with financial and technical assistance (IP, Licensing, and Commercialization) through academic scientists for the solution of indigenousáindustrial problems.á This program has already funded 200 joint academia-industry projects and over 160 licensed to industry for mass scaling and commercialization. A good number of such projects have already started yielding revenue and which is shared with all stakeholders, they added.á Considering the facts above, Planning Commission/ CDWP approved the project’sáenhanced scope to give the 4th Call for proposals. Hence,áPh.D. Faculty Members (who have ready research, lab scale, or pre-prototype)áshould submit the proposalsáwith the consortia of industry and academic partnersáin the following thematicáareas; Climate Change and its impact on the socioeconomics of Pakistan (Agriculture, Food Security, Urban Development, Pollution, Floods, Biodiversity Conservation, etc.) The other areas are Telecommunication, Information and Technology/Computers (applications in Govt. services, health, textile, agriculture & dairy, etc.) Engineering Sciences, Micro Electronics, Water, Power, Energy, and Fleet Management, Biotechnology and Allied fields (in Health, Agriculture, Textile, Leather & Dairy, etc.), Material Sciences/Man-Made Material (Nanotechnology), Robotics, Defense, and Military needs,áand any other applied discipline which is inductive or conducive to the success of products developed or upscale the process of industrial level manufacturing. The proposed funded projects would be expected to develop a product or service which would positively impact, inter alia, the economy, solve a current problem, meet a marketáneed, utilize local raw materials, move current products up the value chain, create large scale employment, andágenerate the revenue.á The proposals need to be academia-industry joint multi-disciplinary and multi-institutionaláleading to products or services which solve a current problem of industry/societyáor identify a new opportunity of business thatáleadsáto positive cash-flows.