The scientist community and academics on Thursday concluded the COMSATS statutory body meeting, called the Coordinating Council, with a futuristic vision filled with resolve to make greater strides in the field of science and technology.
The 24th session was held after a gap of almost three years, the first significant event after Ambassador Dr. Mohammad Nafees Zakaria was appointed as Executive Director COMSATS, on 1st November 2022.
Prof. Ashraf H. Shaalan of Egypt chaired the session. The Council meeting was hosted by the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi, one of the 24 International Centres of Excellence (CoEs) of COMSATS. The meeting was well attended by eminent Council members, COMSATS Technical Advisory Committee and representatives of partner International Organizations from different parts of the world.
The Council Members /delegates from Egypt, the Gambia, Indonesia, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, and Tanzania made in person participation.
The other Council members and representatives from all across COMSATS’ 27 member states attended online. In addition, a ten-member Technical Advisory Committee, representatives of COMSATS Focal ministries in member states, diplomatic community in Pakistan as well as heads/representatives of International organiztions also participated online. The international organizations represented at the meeting were TWAS, UNESCAP, UNESCO, COMSTECH, UNIDO, ANSO, IOFS and INSME.
Recalling the vision of the founder of COMSATS, Nobel Laureate Prof. Abdus Salam, the Executive Director said that the main objective of the Commission was to bridge the knowledge and technology gap between the global North and global South. He underlined that R&D would be inevitable to attain that objective of the forum. He expressed confidence in the capabilities and expertise of COMSATS Members’ scientists and Centres of Excellence in realizing the needed quantum leap.
“The Network of 24 Centres of Excellence established by the Member States is a solid foundation from which the forum derives its strength”, Zakaria stressed.
The Council members underlined that COMSATS’ CoEs were ready to help Member States’ governments with solutions to meet challenges posed by food security, climate change, pandemics, lethal diseases, economy, and lack of access to emerging technologies.
The Council inter-alia considered the new initiatives proposed at the meeting, including establishment of COMSATS International Centre of Excellence (CICE), Renewable Energy Solutions, establishment of a Model COMSATS Solarized Precision Agriculture Green House, initiation of collaborative programmes for digital skills development of youth, digital transformation, R&D activities to support projects of commercial value, venture into space sciences, satellite development, medicines, industrial applications of chemical and bio-sciences.
The Council members re-elected Prof. Shaalan as Chair for another term of three years.
The meeting also saw the signing of a letter of intent for an MoU on cooperation between ICCBS-Pakistan and National Research Centre (NRC), Egypt.