Heads of COMSATS Centres of Excellence to meet in Pakistan next month

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Islamabad:     (Parliament Times)   Over 50 top scientists belonging to 21 countries are reaching Karachi to participate in the 23rd meeting of the Coordinating Council of the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) being held in conjunction with the Conference on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development, scheduled to be held on March 2-4, 2020. The events are being hosted by one of the Centres of Excellence of COMSATS in Pakistan, the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS).

The Coordinating Council comprises the Heads of COMSATS’ 22 International S&T Centres of Excellence, which serves as the technical resource base for the organization’s projects and programmes in the Member States. As a major platform for South-South scientific cooperation, the annual meetings of the Coordinating Council review the activities of COMSATS’ Network; follow up on the decisions and recommendations made in the last meeting(s) and outline the future course of action for COMSATS’ international programmes and activities.

The Coordinating Council Meeting, being chaired by Prof. Dr. Ashraf Shaalan, Former President of National Research Centre (NRC), Egypt, is expected to have representation from 16 Network Members of COMSATS belonging to Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey, while two Centres from China will participate virtually due to the current travel restrictions. The meeting will also have participation from COMSATS’ international partner organizations including UNESCO, while the representatives of a Turkish technology company, Canovate, would be displaying their stall.

The Council meeting is due to deliberate upon a 15 point agenda, which is expected to result in the initiation of collaborative R&D projects and training programmes to be carried out by the Centres of Excellence, having emphasis on the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. COMSATS’ newly beget membership of the Alliance of International Science Organizations (ANSO) and collaborations with other international agencies would also be discussed. During the meeting, the heads/representatives of the Centres of Excellence would make detailed presentations highlighting their ongoing contributions towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals and socio-economic development of the COMSATS Member States, as well as future plans in connection with achieving the objectives of COMSATS Network. Two Centres, the Sephluh Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS), Indonesia, and the University of The Gambia (UTG), The Gambia, will also present their cases for inclusion in the COMSATS Network.

The Agenda of the COMSATS’ high-profile 4th General Meeting of Heads-of-State/Government level Commission, convened by the Chairperson of COMSATS (Hon. President of Ghana) scheduled to be held on 14-15 April 2020 in Accra as well as the 4th Meeting of COMSATS’ Minister-level Consultative Committee to be held during this year in Pakistan will constitute important discussion points. The progress of COMSATS’ International Thematic Research Groups on Climate Change and Environmental Protection; Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs); Mathematical Modeling Natural Products Sciences; Agriculture, Food Security and Biotechnology; and Renewable Energy will also be reviewed under relevant agenda-items. COMSATS’ other programmes and projects, including the recently launched COMSATS Centre for Climate and Sustainability (CCCS), MS and PhD scholarships, post-doctoral fellowships, capacity building activities, Telehealth programme, etc. would also be discussed.

The Conference sessions of the event will include lectures by Prof. Dr. M. Nawaz Sharif, Former Vice President for Academic Affairs (Provost) of the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Bangkok, Thailand; Prof. Dr. Anders Vahlne, Emeritus Professor in Clinical Virology, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden; and Mr. Bradley Emerson, Executive Director/CEO, Business Athletes, Sri Lanka. The intellectual activity generated by these conference sessions pertaining to innovation and technology-management will further enhance the impact of the international collaboration platform that the Council would provide for the participating delegates.

Cont: Naim Uddin Anwar

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