Distinguished Innovations, Collaboration and Entrepreneurship (DICE-2016), an event aimed at building a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in Pakistan, kicked off at NUST’s main campus on Wednesday.
Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal attended the inaugural ceremony as the chief guest.
Speaking at the occasion, the chief guest commended the efforts of DICE Foundation in promoting the entrepreneurial spirit in the country and providing a platform for academia, industry, government, entrepreneurs and expatriates.
He said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would prove to be a game changer for Pakistan and platforms like DICE must align their goals with that of CPEC. The minister further said that Pakistan is the 3rd biggest e-lancing country and has experienced digital economic boom in the last decade.
He elaborated the role of critical thinking and inquisitiveness to reap maximum benefits from entrepreneurship. The minister highlighted government’s plan to open up a university in each district of Pakistan and to establish a Pak-US Knowledge Corridor in which 10, 000 scholarships will be provided to Pakistani students at top US universities in the next 10 years.
Highlighting the achievements of the university, NUST Rector, Lt Gen Naweed Zaman (r) said that NUST takes pride in partnering with DICE and was taking steps to foster a culture of producing job providers than job seekers.
He added that course on entrepreneurship was mandatory for every undergraduate student at NUST. He apprised the audience that over 36 start ups are currently housed in the University’s Technology Incubation Centre, while 20 companies have already graduated from TIC and are generating revenue to the tune of $5 million per year.
Talking about the future plans, he said NUST was fully poised for the establishment of National Science and Technology Park (NSTP), which would prove to be a catalyst for industrial revolution in the country.
Dr Khursheed Qureshi, Chairman DICE Foundation USA, vowed to take DICE forward to college and school students and eventually to the masses at large.
The DICE 2016 will include projects from the categories of engineering, technology, computer sciences, information technology, physical sciences, agricultural sciences, arts & humanities, business, social Sciences and Veterinary sciences.
British Council’s Director of Education, Nishat Riaz said that the British Council would continue to be a part of initiatives like DICE. She commended the role of NUST and Higher Education Commission in the promotion of knowledge-based economy.
Earlier, School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering’s (SMME) Principal, Abdul Ghafoor welcomed all the distinguished guests and participants to the mega event. He said that more than 600 students and industry leaders are participating in this year’s event.