Acting EU ambassador to Pakistan, Stefano Gatto, announced that Pakistani scientists and research scholars can benefit from 300 million to 400 million euros of funds for research assistance under the Horizon 2020 program. He made the announcement at a seminar at the Karachi University (KU) on Wednesday.
Pakistan Science Foundation, Karachi University and the EU delegation jointly organized the program which aims to create awareness in Pakistan regarding Horizon 2020.
Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation program ever with a massive funding of nearly 80 billion euros over seven years, i.e. 2014 to 2020. Horizon is a financial instrument which will implement the Innovation Union which is Europe’s 2020 flagship initiative. The initiative will secure Europe’s global competitiveness.
Gatto, in his speech, stressed on the need for research in order to progress and develop, saying:
Science and technology have no borders. Pakistan is a rapidly growing nation and we want to make it more vibrant in the field of science and research.
At the event, Vice-Chancellor KU, Professor Dr M Qaiser, appreciated the seminar and said that:
Research is the future of mankind and solutions of all the societal problems are hidden in research and scholarly work.
Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation, Professor Dr M. Ashraf informed the attendants that PSF was founded in 1973 and since its inception, the department has provided funding to different research institutions in Pakistan. He said:
The basic aim of the PSF is to promote and popularise science. Science and technology is the key to development in every walk of life.
Gatto said that despite the fact that Pakistan has the GSP (Generalised Scheme of Preference) Plus status, Pakistan has done little to meet the standard of quality assurance on the supply side to be considered amongst the most preferred nations.
The funding will open new doors in regards to technology and research in Pakistan and such vast amounts of funding will help Pakistani students and scholars develop more interest in research fields. The investment in Pakistani researchers will definitely help Pakistan a lot in the long run.