Initiative to Enhance University-Industry Linkage in Research, Development

By Hifsa Raja

ISLAMABAD, May 16 (INP-WealthPK): The Office of Research, Innovation and Commercialisation (ORIC) at the Institute of Space Technology (IST), Islamabad, has taken a new initiative to enhance university-industry linkages by focusing on problem-based research with practical implications.

The ORIC was established in September 2011 in pursuance of the policy of the Higher Education Commission to make research a top priority for a sustainable economic growth and future knowledge economy.

The purpose of ORIC is to serve as a pivotal point to encompass all the research activities, develop, expand, enhance and manage the universities’ research programmes and to link their research activities directly to their educational, social and economic priorities.

The ORIC is also responsible for ensuring that the quality of research reflects the highest international standards and advances.

Mehmoodul Hasan, who is to oversee the university-industry linkages initiative at the ORIC, told WealthPK that the step was meant to ensure robust university-industry collaboration for technological innovation, national development and competitiveness.

Hasan, who also led the Technology Transfer Office at the IST, said that the ORIC’s Innovation Lab had made a 3D printer, performed 3D printing, data manufacturing and bio-printing. “Bio-printing is a type of additive manufacturing that creates 3D structures that are functional 3D tissues using cells and biomaterials rather than typical metals and plastics. Bio-inks are biomaterials that closely resemble the composition of our tissues.”

He said that ORIC was executing projects of the Strategic Planning Division (SPD) of the Armed Forces as well.

Mehmoodul Hasan told WealthPK that the ORIC was also handling the FLP (Full Length Paper) of students. “Researchers are doing their FLP while considering a problem in the industry. So, their research is problem-based. Supervisors specifically focus on their students FLP that finds a practical solution to a problem,” he added.

He said that organisations like National Engineering and Scientific Commission, Khan Research Laboratories, PAKSAT and National Transmission and Dispatch Company were collaborating with the faculty and students of the varsity to find practical solutions to problems. “All these organisations consider our brilliant faculty to be part of their projects so that their projects create innovative and amazing solutions.”

Mehmoodul Hasan said that the IST’s ORIC was also doing CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) analysis, which is the analysis of fluid flows using numerical solution methods. He mentioned that Finite Element Analysis and CFD analysis were software-based solutions to ensure proper functioning of drones. He said that these projects fell under the aero-department research.

The IST official said the varsity had also turned the anodic paints (declared unusable) into the cathodic form, where they can be used again.