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LAHORE: The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) has sought support of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to implement its new innovative programme titled “National Idea Labs” (NIL) for promoting entrepreneurship development in the country.

Hashim Raza, CEO SMEDA, in a meeting with Chairman HEC Dr Tariq Banuri on Tuesday discussed the modalities of the programme that requires a tripartite collaboration of SMEDA-HEC & Higher Education Institutions.

The National Idea Lab (NIL) will promote entrepreneurship development and new enterprise creation to nurture and promote the creative ideas of young entrepreneurs; he said adding that the NIL aims to provide a physical as well as virtual environment for generating, developing and commercializing innovative ideas with the help through trainings, mentoring and technology assistance.

He called for HEC cooperation to have inputs on networking opportunities, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation of the programme, besides having support of the higher educational institutions through their Business Incubation Centers (BICs).

CEO SMEDA acknowledged the efforts of HEC to support industry-academia linkages for enhancing productivity and competitiveness of the local industry. He informed that SMEDA, having more than 20 years’ experience of direct engagement with the industry, had gained significant insight into industrial issues that can add value to HEC’s efforts for strengthening industry-academia linkages in the country.

HEC Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri, expressing his views on this occasion, agreed to enhance institutional coordination of the two organizations for strengthening industry-academia linkages in the country.

He said that all private and public sectors institutions working for trade and industry development should unite on the one-page for implementing well-coordinated development initiatives. He agreed to extend the fullest cooperation of HEC with SMEDA also to implement the NIL Programme.

This is notable that SMEDA and HEC are already knitted into an MoU to implement a number of programmes envisioned under the National SME Policy-2021. But an exclusive MoU will soon be signed for joint implementation of the National Idea Lab (NIL) programme as well.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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