PSEB is taking steps to set up knowledge parks in every province
Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) has started the plan to set up knowledge parks at public sector universities in different cities of each province.
In connection with this, the board has asked universities via RFP to submit their proposal by 16 February at the latest.
The proposed Knowledge Parks will be located in major cities across the country. In Phase I, knowledge parks will be established in the 04 provincial capital including Karachi, Quetta, Lahore and Peshawar at an estimated cost of Rs. 939.359 million. Upon successful completion, this network will be extended to Hyderabad, Multan, Bahawalpur, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit in Phase II of this project
The knowledge parks will be equipped with ICT infrastructure to ensure fast and reliable connectivity, backup power arrangements, co-workspaces and also to create an ecosystem for innovation, promote continuous learning, human capacity building and nurturing entrepreneurship. Knowledge companies get office space at an affordable rent, but their presence in the Knowledge Parks also creates a connection between industry and the academic world.
Objectives and functions of knowledge parks
This network of knowledge parks will contribute through technology and innovation to increasing the competitiveness of businesses and the overall development of both IT and other industries in Pakistan. In addition, the parks will provide a platform for government, academia and the private sector to collaborate and leverage and intensify existing R&D to create competitive products and services in a global context and act as a point of convergence for science, technology and innovation policies in pursuing the development of a knowledge society.
According to PSEB, this project aims at creating an ecosystem to encourage innovation, collaboration, job creation and close interaction between stakeholders to share experiences and excel for more. This ecosystem provides opportunities for industry and academia to optimize technology education delivery, develop interfaces to initiate startups, and deepen partnerships for collaborative research and product development.
In this regard, public sector universities will be favored for setting up these knowledge parks, which will give them the opportunity to collaborate with leading IT/ITeS companies and leading universities of the world. This will also provide a stimulating environment that promotes much-needed ease of doing business.
The parks will support industry-academic collaboration, which will generate nearly 4,000 IT students and graduates through industry-recommended training. In addition, 400 faculty members will also be trained in in-demand technologies. These trainings are delivered by seasoned industry professionals who have hands-on experience in selected technology areas.
The universities must ensure that the building is available for at least 10 years from the date of establishment as a Knowledge Park and remains renewable by mutual consent for subsequent terms.
HEC compliant digital libraries
Public universities should have at least 20,000 square meters of office space for the knowledge park. The university with an area of more than 20,000 square meters is preferred. It should ensure the availability of an LMS equipped to provide real-time monitoring and reporting of the training programs, capable of providing training opportunities to off-campus students/IT professionals, content management such as uploading content by participants, trainers, mentors, administrator; submitting and assessing assignments; ranking and feedback by students, trainers and mentors; track the progress of each participant in the training; and trainee participation through virtual classrooms.
The universities must have access to HEC-enabled digital libraries for the participants in the training programs.
The university must ensure the availability of existing R&D facilities/labs, incubators for startups (preferably) and availability of teachers in emerging technologies, such as Blockchain, AI, Cloud, Data Sciences, Internet of Things (IoT), AR/VR , Robotics, 5G, Digital Twins and High Performance Computing etc.
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