The 55th Board of Directors Meeting of Ignite – National Technology Fund (formerly National ICT R&D Fund) was held under the chairmanship of Anusha Rahman, Minister of State for IT & Telecom in Islamabad today.
The board especially reviewed and extensively discussed the progress of launching DigiSkills initiative for technology enabled training of 1 Million youngsters in the country.The Board approved the floating of Request for Proposal (RFP) with an aim to promote excellence in technology and innovation, building a workforce for a future driven by the 4th Industrial Wave.
The board also reviewed and endorsed the funding of 11 high value technical R&D projects against the research proposals submitted by Project Investigators (PI) both from industry and academia. Moreover, a training and mentorship program for capacity building of funded research teams for commercialization (a process that converts research, ideas, or prototypes into viable products and services) also came under discussion.
The minister said that these endeavors will not only enhance the rate of successful commercialization of output of funded projects but also improve Pakistan’s innovation eco-system in general.
In order to promote a research culture at the grassroots level Ignite, under the auspices of Ministry of IT & Telecom, have been providing funding to ICT graduates through its National Grassroots ICT Research Initiative (NGIRI) since 2012. The Board approved the budget for NGIRI Program for the FY 2017-18, including a National Competition amongst the top funded projects under this initiative.
Federal secretary IT, Rizwan Bashir Khan; Member Telecom, Mudasar Hussain; Member IT, Syed Raza Shah; Member HR, Dr Shahid Qureshi PD IBA kch; Akbar Jamal Shaukat. PD CNS Group of Companies; Khwaja Saad Saleem, Nayatel; CEO Ignite and other board members were also present in the meeting.