The National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan have signed a Document of Understanding (DoU) to undertake the Prime Minister’s National Innovation Award, an initiative under the Prime Minister’s Youth Program. Executive Director of HEC Dr Shaista Sohail and NUST Pro-Rector Research, Innovation & Commercialisation, Dr Rizwan Riaz signed the partnership agreement at the main campus of NUST, a press release on Wednesday said. Chairman HEC Dr Mukhtar Ahmed and Rector NUST Lt Gen (Retd) Engr Javed Mahmood Bukhari attended the event. The Prime Minister’s National Innovation Award is a pioneering initiative launched by PM Youth Affairs to support early-stage startups in emerging fields in Pakistan. It is the country’s first public-funded, equity-free seed grant programme, aimed at fostering innovation and entrepreneurship among the youth. The project aims to identify and nurture 100 brilliant ideas through financial support, mentorship, and a focused, hands-on startup boot camp. Experienced professionals will help refine the ideas, and promising startups will have access to various incubation centres across Pakistan for further development. This flagship project is a significant step towards promoting socioeconomic development in the country by creating new business ventures and job opportunities for young people. By encouraging and supporting entrepreneurship, the Prime Minister’s National Innovation Award aims to unleash the potential of the country’s youth and drive innovation in Pakistan. The collaboration between the executing agency (HEC) and the partner agency (NUST) will consist of several key collaborative activities. These activities are Business Proposal Writing & Pitching Bootcamp Pitching Competition, Award Ceremonies and Investor-Connect event.