Planning & Development

Centers should move towards commercialization, generate revenues, Ahsan Iqbal

Islamabad: Federal Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives, Professor Ahsan Iqbal on Friday reviewed the performance of six Centers of Excellence established in 2017 to meet the demands of the fourth industrial revolution under the vision of 2025. The centers include National Centre of Robotics and Automation (NCRA), National Center of Artificial Intelligence (NCAI) at NUST, National Center for Cyber Security (NCCS) at the Air University, National Center in Big Data and Cloud Computing (NCBC) were established in 2017-18; National Center GIS Space Applications (NCGSA) which was established in March 2020 and National Center for Livestock Breeding, Genetics & Genomics (NCLBG&G) under the Vision of 2025. The Minister while chairing the meeting reviewed their four-year performance before their expiry in June 2026. The meeting was attended by the respective directors of the centers and representatives of Higher Education Commission HEC. During the meeting a detailed briefing was given to the minister over their four-year performance. The Minister said that now these centers should start generating revenues and move towards the commercialization. These centers should be self-sufficient and should help the government as the spending of PSDP has already shrunk, said the Minister, while directing heads of the centers to start their certification process immediately and also established a knowledge management system for better collaboration among the centers. Prof Iqbal hoped that technology centres of excellence will make the country famous by creating platforms like Google and Facebook. “Centers of Excellence will play a key role in preparing the country for the digital revolution”, said the Minister, while directing the stakeholders to approach the Central Asian and Gulf states so that Pakistan would be able to get the space. Furthermore, the Minister directed them to create a window for those who are residing in various parts of the world so that they can be engaged as well. The Minister further added that despite limited resources, the government is providing financial and administrative support to these centers.