NUST and Tus-Holdings (the operating company of Tsinghua University Science Park), China, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Saturday, June 27, 2015, for the establishment of National Science and Technology Park (NSTP) at NUST.
The MoU was signed by Mr Jiwu Wang, CEO Tus-Holdings Co. Ltd., and Engr Muhammad Asghar, Rector NUST. Under this MoU, both sides shall consider to set up a joint venture company for the establishment of NSTP at Islamabad.
The MoU shall enable Tus-Holdings to transfer its experience of consolidated innovation space formation to the creation of NSTP, suitably modified to suit the demands and realities of innovation in Pakistan.
The MoU signing ceremony was attended by Prof Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform; His Excellency Sun Weidong, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan; Prof Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan; Mr Kamran Ali Qureshi, Federal Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST); and other senior government officials. From the Chinese side, Mr. Herbert Chen, Mr. Xiang Chen and other notable members of Tus-Holdings were present on the occasion. The agreement with Tus-Holdings is the latest in a series of cooperative initiatives that NUST has developed since 2011 with different Chinese universities, research institutes and policy centres. NUST’s Global Think Tank Network (GTTN) has already been running an active knowledge partnership with Tsinghua and Peking Universities as part of its China Node, having provided critical intellectual and analytical underpinnings for creating a sustainable and multidimensional cooperation with China, including the CPEC. NSTP will help towards the fulfilment of national science and development goals. In this regard, the broad space for cooperation provided by various agreements between China and Pakistan for scientific and technical cooperation will be utilised by the parties to the agreement.
NSTP partakes of the spirit of Vision 2025 and is aligned with its cardinal pillars. It also enjoys considerable complementarities with the developmental thrust of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). NSTP in particular, and STPs in general, should be seen as related initiatives for undertaking correct and comprehensive development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), which form an integral part of the CPEC, as both STPs and SEZs form important components of the technology-based growth and development. The partnership between NUST and TusPark will pave the way for the incorporation of NSTP as a flagship program for S&T, innovation and higher education components of the CPEC.
The NSTP is NUST’s capstone program for the development of Pakistan’s first university-based STP. It was conceived as a means to harness the intellectual prowess of NUST’s faculty and students, and utilize their innovative research potential and entrepreneurial spirit to create a dynamic Knowledge Ecosystem facilitating high-tech R&D. The NSTP concept is in line with the proven models of technology clusters built around eminent universities like Stanford University in the USA, Tsinghua University in China and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in South Korea, to name a few.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, highlighted the significance of the MoU in the context of expanding economic cooperation between Pakistan and China. It would help further the objectives of Pak-China Economic Corridor and Vision 2025, he added.
His Excellency Sun Weidong, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, congratulated NUST for taking the initiative of establishing a science and technology park in Pakistan, which would strengthen the existing friendly ties between the two countries.