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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Science and Technology Dr Umar Saif has emphasised the crucial role of technology in economic development.

The minister made these remarks during the foundation-laying ceremony of the Indigenous Research and Development Agency (IRADA) at the National Science and Technology Park, NUST, here on Thursday.

He underscored its ability to drive innovation, boost productivity, and enhance efficiency across diverse industries.

Highlighting the objective of IRADA, he emphasized its role in fostering collaboration between the defence sector, academia, and industry in Pakistan for technological advancement.

He noted that while linkages between these sectors have existed, IRADA aims to formalise and institutionalise these connections.

During the event, Dr Saif expressed his vision for IRADA, envisioning a collaborative effort involving NUST, universities, industry, and the defence sector.

He emphasized the potential for joint projects and products that can be commercialized to contribute significantly to the country's economic development.

Drawing a historical parallel, the minister referred to the launch of Sputnik by Russia in 1957 and the subsequent creation of DARPA by the USA.

He highlighted the success of connecting the defence sector, academia and industry, resulting in the invention and commercialization of transformative technologies such as the Internet, GPS, and cryptography.

The minister informed that NUST has graciously agreed to host IRADA and provide the necessary ecosystem for its success. The Ministry of Science and Technology will fund and support IRADA as an independent entity, he added.

The minister said this initiative will bring together the top minds in academia, defence, and industry, furthering Pakistan's technological advancements and economic growth.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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