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Rawalpindi May 23, 2018: Federal Minister of Interior, and Planning, Development & Reform Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, inaugurated the National Centre of Robotics & Automation (NCRA) at NUST College of Electrical & Mechanical Engineering (CEME), Rawalpindi on May 23, 2018. The NCRA is designed on a consortium model, with 11 labs from 13 Pakistani universities as part of the Centre, with National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) in the leading role. Out of these 11 labs, 2 will be established by CEME, while the remaining will be set up at other premier national Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), including UET Lahore, UCP Lahore, ITU Lahore, Air University Islamabad, LUMS, FAST-NUCES Islamabad, UET Taxila, NED Karachi, MUET, BUITEMS, MUST, and UET Peshawar.

From left to right: Federal Minister for Interior, and Planning, Development & Reform - Mr. Ahsan Iqbal; Rector NUST - Lt Gen (R) Naweed Zaman HI (M); Commandant NUST CEME - Brig Tariq Javed, SI (M); Member Science & Technology, Planning Commission of Pakistan - Dr. Athar Osama.

Speaking at the occasion, the Federal Minister said that he feels great pride inaugurating the last of the 4 Centres of Excellence that Government of Pakistan set out to establish this year, in emerging technological fields that would lead Pakistan’s journey into the knowledge economy of the future. He congratulated NUST for being awarded 2 of the 4 National Centres – the NCRA, and earlier the National Centre of Artificial Intelligence (NCAI), which was inaugurated at NUST in March 2018. Prof. Ahsan Iqbal gave his felicitations to the partner universities of NCRA, and said that this Centre will put Pakistan at the forefront of R&D in Robotics. He also mentioned that NCRA, along with the other Centres of Excellences in Artificial Intelligence (at NUST), Cloud Computing & Big Data (at LUMS), and Cyber Security (at Air University) will not only lead technological development and innovation in Pakistan in years to come, but will also have significant impact on the local industry and on society, as well as imparting new skills to the youth of Pakistan to prepare for new job markets that will emerge in the 4th industrial revolution. He hoped that these recent initiatives will help us achieve the objectives outlaid in Vision 2025, and position Pakistan among the top 25 nations of the world by 2025.

Earlier, Commandant NUST CEME Brig Tariq Javed, SI(M), addressed the audience and said that over the years, CEME, the largest constituent college of NUST, has developed programmes to address needs of society and create knowledge in important fields including Robotics & Automation. He added that NCRA has been designed to create national capacity in this emerging field, with important applications for industry and society.

Dr. Athar Osama, Member S&T, Planning Commission, said that with the establishment of the 4 national Centres of excellence through a rigorous selection process, 200 PhD scientists and 45 laboratories from all technology universities of Pakistan have been brought together to solve the toughest problems in these four emerging areas. Through shared resources and expertise, the National Centres are mandated to work closely with the industry and develop projects with high national impact. He also said that these Centres have a responsibility to push intellectual property into the market in quick succession, find new industry partners and spin off technologies.

National University of Sciences and Technology H-12, Islamabad, Pakistan
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