Innovation-cum-technology fastest way to emerge as knowledge economy: President

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday said the fastest way for Pakistan to emerge as a strong knowledge economy was through promotion of innovative entrepreneurship based on information technology.

“Innovation and emerging technologies together can open up new vistas of development and prosperity for Pakistan, ” the President said at the inauguration of National Idea Bank, here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.

The National Idea Bank – a collaboration among academia, government, and industry – is aimed at addressing indigenous problems using technology and innovations in business and governance models.

President Alvi said in the world of digitalization, Pakistan needed to establish a mechanism comprising thinkers and practitioners to identify innovative ideas for different organizations.

He expressed confidence that National Ideas Bank as a knowledge-intensive system would contribute to rapid pace of development compared with the conventional brick and mortar setups.

He said innovative ideas could resolve an industry problem or a social challenge in a more effective and efficient way.

The President said every knowledge-based product starts with an idea to improve quality of life on planet, may it the historic ideas of Galileo, Archimedes or Newton that concluded to theories and well-established facts.

He mentioned his strong interest in information technology, recalling his early years’ love for ‘mathematical games’ columns published in Scientific American magazine.

The President lauded the efforts of Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications and Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology Karachi for establishing the setup to accept ideas by the people on a regular pitch schedule.

He also expressed satisfaction over growth of IT-related exports during last six months, terming it an important step in attaining rapid development.

Minister for IT Syed Amin ul Haque said the credit for the idea of National Identity Bank belonged to President Arif Alvi with the process patronized by IT ministry, hosted by Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology, and funded by the incubation platform, IdeaGist.com.

He said under Prime Minister’s vision of Digital Pakistan, the IT Ministry was taking steps in right direction and mentioned projects in progress including local manufacturing of smart phones and launch of e-parliament system with electronic tablets to replace file system by June.

Founder IdeaGist Hassan Syed said with 49 types of emerging technologies world over, there existed huge opportunity for Pakistan to create social and commercial value of products through innovation.

He said under the National Ideas Bank, a panel of independent and experienced judges with both technology and business experience would select a number of winning ideas in national interest to be supported by the partnering organizations.

He said the panel of judges would be formed on March 23, while the ideas would be showcased on August 14, the country’s Independence Day.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of IT and Telecom and Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology was signed in October to collaborate actively in collecting and supporting innovative ideas.