Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Mr. Shibli Faraz inaugurated the COMSATS University Islamabad’s 18th International Conference on Frontiers of Information Technology on Monday. Speakers from France, Netherlands, China, Ireland, Portugal, UK, USA and Pakistan are participating in the two-day conference organized by COMSATS University Islamabad in COMSTECH Secretariat, Islamabad. Shibli Faraz, Federal Minister for Science & Technology, also the Chief Guest of the opening ceremony lauded the efforts of FIT organizers for providing an esteemed platform to researchers, scientists, and industry practitioners from across the world to present their cutting-edge research as well as sharing latest industry insights. Moreover, he said that no country has the capacity to single handedly tackle the challenges of the global commons like environmental issues, sustainable renewable energy, diseases and pandemics, explosive population growth and food scarcity etc. He said that it was the foremost priority of the present Government to facilitate academia and local R&D Organizations, so that they may jointly provide solutions for indigenous problems and contribute towards the socio-economic uplift of Pakistan. He said that creating a Digital Pakistan was inevitable for good governance and prosperity. Prof. Atta ur Rehman FRS, Vice Chairman, Prime Minister’s National Task force on Technology driven Knowledge Economy delivered a keynote address for participating technical experts, students and dignitaries. In his recorded address titled “Open Distance Learning: Creating a Knowledge Economy”, Prof. Rahman highlighted the importance of knowledge economy in a highly competitive global skills market and presented several initiatives which have led to novel solutions in present day Pakistan. Prof. Dr. Muhammad T. Afzal, Rector, COMSATS University Islamabad, in his remarks appreciated the support extended by the government in promoting the research and development culture in the country. He said that in order to create opportunities for Pakistan in the arena of Information Technology, it is imperative to ensure greater participation of women in IT. While encouraging female students, Prof. Afzal said that IT offers highly lucrative job prospects for women where they can realize their true potential with respectful and dignified jobs. He assured the participants that COMSATS University Islamabad will always play an active role in nurturing young entrepreneurs for creating technology driven solutions for Pakistan. Prof. Afzal called on researchers to engage in meaningful product-oriented research that can benefit the masses and the economy instead of churning out publications which were creating no real impact. The two days conference will comprise series of invited lectures as part of its technical program while a PhD symposium will provide an opportunity to PhD scholar to present their ongoing research to gather feedback from industry experts. The last day of the conference will feature a panel discussion on the theme “How to Make Digital Pakistan a Reality”. The conference is the 18th Annual event organized by COMSATS University consecutively in the last 2 decades and boasts of a very competitive acceptance rate among IT circles in Pakistan. The conference has been fostering new areas of IT since its inception and has this year captured attention of experts in Software Engineering, Pattern Recognition, Image and Natural Language Processing, Data Science, Water Informatics, Smart Grid, Energy and Electronics, Signal Processing and Cyber Security among others.