World Bank committed to fund research projects in Pakistan

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LAHORE: World Bank on Saturday expressed its commitment to finance research projects in Pakistan, which are aimed at to improve socioeconomic development and related to sustainable development goals.

World Bank representative Graham Harrison said the bank is ready to fund research projects which would bring socioeconomic development and help the country achieve sustainable development goals.

He expressed these remarks while addressing a workshop on ‘road show on new R&D framework of HEC’. Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) and Punjab University Office of Research, Innovation and Commercialisation (ORIC) co-hosted the workshop.

Harrison said the World Bank has allocated $700,000 for research projects that would focus on resolving local issues.

The government has been emphasising need of data-oriented researches in institutions to improve effectiveness of policies. Lack of empirical data is creating hurdles in policymaking. The government has been calling for improving academia-corporate linkage.

The World Bank’s commitment coincided with the bank’s decision to restore budgetary support for Pakistan. The support has been on halt since 2017.

Addressing the workshop through video link, Harrison said Pakistani researchers should work on the academic ideas that could be commercialised. He said research projects should resolve the problems being faced today.

He said the World Bank encourages technology transfer and promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship culture.

Punjab University Dean Faculty of Engineering and Technology Taqi Zahid Butt, HEC Research and Development Director General Zainul Abidin, British Council representative Hajira Khan, and directors from a large number of universities from Punjab participated in the workshop.

Butt lauded the role of Higher Education Commission for promotion of research in universities.

He said academia is strengthening relations with industrial and corporate sectors with the help of the HEC. Universities have important role in socio-economic development of the country.

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