ISLAMABAD, Jun 11 (APP):With the efforts of Higher Education Commission(HEC), the research activities have enhanced in public sector institutions across the country.

According to the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2019-20 issued here on Thursday, the streamlined research, generated by strategic academic processes that build strong societies and economies, has now entered a takeoff phase of commercialization.

The Business and Technology Incubators have been established in universities across the country to promote university-industry collaboration. However, the universities have initiated various research projects related to agriculture, business, and industrial needs, which have been shared with the related stakeholders and other sections of the society.

In order to sustain the improving trend and to expand the horizon of research activities in the Higher Educational Institutions(HEIs), HEC focused on those research activities that have a direct impact on community well-being and the economy of the country.

Under research activities HEC has established Rapid Research & Innovation Initiative (RRII).

In response to the emergency situation arising globally due to the spread of COVID-19, HEC has made efforts to ensure that the country utilizes the research capacity of its universities to respond to the pandemic timely and effectively.

HEC has launched a fast track funding mechanism under RRII to support proposals in applied research, product innovation and commercialization of potential solutions under various priority themes dealing with topics and issues of severe urgency with regard to availability and access to data, facilities or specialized equipment as well as the quick response of research on COVID-19.

Under “National Research Programme for Universities”(NRPU), 544 Projects have been awarded in Fiscal Year 2020, and a total of 381 projects have been completed during this period with a total allocation of Rs 1.45 billion.

Around Six collaborative research grants jointly submitted by Pakistani and UK faculty will be supported under Innovative & Collaborative Research Grants (ICRG), of up to Rs 50.0 million for each partner by HEC & British Council, it added.

However, 25 travel grants have been awarded to Pakistani and UK researchers to establish linkages and strengthen research partnership.

Under Pak-France and Pak-Turk Research Mobility Programme, review of applications is under process and project to be awarded in the current financial year.

HEC has recently revamped the research grants framework in order to meet projected national requirements as well as to achieve a wider social impact.
This has been developed in consultation with the Higher Education Development in Pakistan (HEDP) Project funded by the World Bank.

The project aims to strengthen the research capacity and academic excellence of HEIs in Pakistan.

HEDP is comprised of a diverse set of research funding opportunities, including Grand Challenge Fund (GCF), Technology Transfer Support Fund (TTSF), and Innovator Seed Fund (ISF).

These research portfolios will provide competitive research, innovation, and commercialization grant opportunities.