Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What is National Science and Technology Park (NSTP)?
The National Science and Technology Park (NSTP) is NUST’s initiative to encourage knowledge creation at the cutting edge and develop organization, human and social capital to compete in the global economy. It is based on a new business model, which has emerged over the last thirty years and is now being widely recognized as an important ingredient in developing the knowledge economy through a more effective working relationship between academia, business and government. This relationship has been described as the “Triple Helix Model” in which universities take an active part in technology commercialization, government needs to fund this process and business needs to become active in knowledge discovery in their market and to put this to economic use through innovation. The proposed NSTP aims to foster innovation and encourage industrialization through building networks stretching far beyond the major institutions today to include a comprehensive knowledge ecosystem of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, professors, students professionals (from various sectors) and under-privileged communities for mentoring and learning.
02 Why NSTP?
Question: Why would a company come to NSTP?
NUST is Pakistan’s premier HEI with a progressive and innovative outlook. The new technology-smart campus in Islamabad nestles not only with some premier educational institutes and research centres but also enjoys close vicinity of the capital's industrial sector. The campus houses hi-tech, state of the art laboratories besides access to a pool of highly qualified individuals. Given these attributes, NUST offers an ideal platform for both startup and existing businesses to leverage NUST’s knowledge base.
03 Benefits of NSTP
Question: How will it benefit the Government?
The Government of Pakistan will benefit through funding and active participation in the activities of NSTP as this initiative aims to actualize Government’s policy of enhancing the competitiveness of the national economy in line with Vision 2030 of Pakistan. The proposed NSTP will contribute towards improvements in industrial activities in Pakistan, generate jobs and improve worldwide reputation of Pakistan in terms of both knowledge and economic development.
Question: How will it benefit the community?
NUST aims to increase the wealth of its community by promoting the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship through the establishment of this Park. It will be an alliance between the University, the Government, business enterprises, and R&D institutes with an objective to create a dynamic Knowledge Ecosystem drawing together the best intellectual minds, their innovative research and the latest technologies in a wide number of areas to catalyze economic activity in the country and develop unique Knowledge Based Multi-Industry Cluster. The NSTP envisions integrating the output of research in science, technology and engineering; entrepreneurs; business support and development capital in order to create new knowledge based businesses. The Park would be developed as means of stimulating start-up and growth of technologically intensive, knowledge-based businesses, and would facilitate the development of national innovation ecosystems for socio-economic development of the country. It will act as an incubating base for private sector ventures; a training base for nurturing innovate skills; and as an experimental zone for new technologies by establishing an Entrepreneurship & Innovation Centre, R&D Centre, Science Centre, Technology Incubation Centre, Manufacturing Resource Centre, IT and Telecom Data Centre and a Learning Academy that will provide technical & vocational expertise and entrepreneurship training.
Question: Who will come to the NSTP (The Tenants)?
The NSTP shall house start-up companies in order to commercialize their R&D work besides local, regional and international companies who presently have a market presence in Pakistan, or desire to achieve it.
Question: How will the tenants benefit?
Tenant companies will achieve a significant point of presence in the region especially from an R&D perspective such as:
1. Convenient economic terms and conditions for access to the research infrastructure at NSTP.
2. Access to a community of high quality businessmen, technologists, managers, consultants professors, students and venture capitalists sharing the same professional interest in technology, in the same place and at the same time, with the NSTP management committed to stimulate and nurture such a community
3. Availability of a skilled work-force pool from graduate and undergraduate students of NUST.
Question: Why would a company come to NSTP?
NUST is Pakistan’s premier HEI with a progressive and innovative outlook. The new technology-smart campus in Islamabad nestles not only with some premier educational institutes and research centres, but also enjoys close vicinity of the capital's industrial sector. The campus houses hi-tech, state of the art laboratories besides access to a pool of highly qualified individuals. Given these attributes, NUST offers an ideal platform for both startup and existing businesses to leverage NUST’s knowledge base.
NSTP will offer long term leasing and moderate to short term rental facilities to fulfill the operational needs of companies at different levels of growth stage. The tenants could be categorized into the following group:
a. Innovation Lots:
This category would comprise of Individuals, entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, innovators and start-up entities at pre-production stage. The basic idea would be to provide undergraduate and graduate level students with an opportunity to develop ideas and projects in a group structure and to gain experience necessary for real world business sectors.
b. Incubators Lots:
Individuals & companies expanding from prototyping and pre-production stages to market testing and production will be housed here. Fledgling entrepreneurial businesses will be given physical space alongside shared infrastructure (phone, internet, video conferencing, copying, printing, etc.), business planning, management, and technical services on an on-going basis till they develop into self-sustaining businesses ready to transition into open market.
c. Enterprise Lots:
Mature, self-sustaining businesses and R&D wings of multi-national companies would be housed here. Each of these buildings will have an auditorium, several conference rooms, training rooms, video conferencing, computer labs, restaurant, and a corner shop. The businesses residing in these buildings will not require extensive business development services from the NSTP. However, partnerships will be developed with selected businesses on an equity/VC investment basis.
d. Land Lease:
Land parcels will also be available for lease to fully commercialized clients who would want to build their own customized buildings for performing R&D or light manufacturing/assembly operations with an element of product/process development. The parcels will come in various sizes with basic infrastructure such as electric power cables, water piping, telecommunication channels and gas pipelines.
All of the above mentioned lots will come with infrastructures and activities that fulfill needs of technology based companies. Since the Park will have all kinds of support facilities in terms of RS&D labs for engineering, IT and Bio-medical Sciences, it will not only help incubatees and entrepreneurs in their business development but also large enterprises in their technology innovation and development.
Question: What is the present state of the NSTP programme?
As a major step towards realizing the goal of building country’s first Science &Technology Park NUST has also already started developing policies, plans, facilities and services to support the planned NSTP and is the first organization from Pakistan to become a Full Member of International Association of Science Parks (IASP), a worldwide network of Science & Technology Parks having 375 members from 70 countries across the world; as well as the World Technopolis Association (WTA), a multilateral international organization created with the purpose to connect the advancement of science and technology with local development. Needless to say, these prestigious associations would prove invaluable to NUST in the establishment of its own NSTP.
In an effort to benchmark international best practices and build internal capacity; senior officials from NUST have attended numerous training programs and courses on the development of STPs in UK, USA, Asia and have visited Silicon Valley in the USA, Surrey Research Park, UK to Tsinghua University Science Park in China, Daedeok Innopolis in South Korea, METU (Middle East Technical University) in Turkey, in addition to visiting parks in the far east i.e Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. The university already houses a Technology Incubation Centre (TIC), Intellectual Property Office (IPO), Technology Transfer Office (TTO), Industry Liaison Office (ILO), Corporate Advisory Council (CAC) and Design & Manufacturing Resource Centre (DMRC).
The Executive Committee of NSTP has also been instituted and comprises Engr. M Asghar- Rector NUST, Engr. M Akram Sheikh-Professor Emeritus-NUST, Mr. Irfan Ahmad Akhtar-CFO-NUST and Advisor-NUST.
As part of NUST’s recent initiative of establishing a Global Think Tank Network (GTTN), a high profile Expert Group for NSTP Planning & Development was recently formed and comprises eminent specialists from relevant fields. The high profile member list includes;
- Professor Deog-Seong Oh, General Secretary, WTA, Professor, Chungnam National University,
Republic of Korea
- Dr. Malcolm Parry , Managing Director of The Surrey Research Park, UK
- Dr. Herbert Chen, Vice President of Tsinghua University Science Park
- Mr. Shahid Mehmood, CEO- Interactive Convergence (Pvt.) Ltd.
- Mr. Colin Hu, Deputy CEO & CTO, Huawei Technologies, Pakistan
- Mr. Irfan Ahmad Akhtar, CFO NUST
- Engr. Akbar Bukhari, Ex. Dir NUST Medical Complex Programme (NMCP)
- Dr. Abdul Ghafoor, Principal NUST School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (SMME)
- Mr. Amer Hashmi, Advisor- NUST
Another landmark achievement towards the realization of the planned NSTP, is the fact that the World Technopolis Association (WTA)-UNESCO Team visited NUST in January, 2012, comprising Prof. Deog-Seong-Oh and Dr. Malcolm Parry, besides some other senior officials of WTA-UNESCO. Intense consultative sessions were held upon their arrival with participation from all the public-private STI experts, and internal and external stakeholders. The purpose of the visit and the study was to work with the team at NUST to develop a broad based plan and a subsequent report for the development of the NSTP.
The phase of physical development of NSTP is planned to begin in the near future and it is hoped that this landmark venture shall help transform the technological and industrial landscape of Pakistan, propelling this hugely talented nation in a direction that leads to its true destiny; a progressive, modern and prosperous country with opportunities for all.