Historical Perspective

The Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) is an international organization. It aims to reduce the ever-growing gap between the developed and developing world through useful applications of science and technology. The Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) initiated the proposal for the formation of COMSATS under the leadership of Nobel Laureate, Dr. Abdus Salam.

The foundation-conference of COMSATS was held at Islamabad on 4th & 5th October 1994. Representatives from thirty-six countries attended. The participants included twenty-two Ministers, members of the diplomatic community of Islamabad and representatives of international organizations, like UNESCO, UNIDO, UNEP and the World Bank.

The conference decided that the Headquarters / Secretariat of the Commission would be based permanently at Islamabad , Pakistan , and the Head of State of Pakistan would act as the first Chairperson of the forum. It was agreed that the host -Government, Pakistan , would provide for the operational and administrative expenses of the Secretariat, while the development programs of the Commission would be supported and financed through Technical Assistance Fund. This fund would be established by contribution from member countries, income from services provided to member countries, grants from international agencies and project funds, if under taken under contract.

Membership

COMSATS currently represents 21 developing countries across three continents namely Bangladesh,China,Colombia,Egypt,Ghana,Iran,Jamaica, Jordan,Kazakhstan,Korea (DPRK), Nigeria,Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Srilanka,Sudan , Syria ,Tanzania ,Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe

Centers of Excellence

COMSATS has selected thirteen Centers of Excellence in its member countries to develop a Network of International Science and Technology Centers for Sustainable Development in the South. These Centers have been selected as nodes and are being used to provide a leading role in their respective areas of specialization.

Fields of Study

COMSATS has focused its attention on various fields of science and technology on priority basis. So far, it has selected fields of Information Technology, Renewable Energy, Climate and Environmental Sciences, Chemical Sciences, and Development of Small and Medium Enterprise (SME). These focused areas are revised from time to time according to the changing national/regional priorities and expanding areas of expertise of the COMSATS Network of Centers of Excellence.

Activities in Pakistan

Within Pakistan major activities of COMSATS are taking place through its subsidiaries: COMSATS Internet Services (CIS) and COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT). CIS has set up and is operating modern communication systems in most cities throughout the country and CIIT has been established for training professional human resource.

COMSATS Institute of Information Technology

CIIT became functional in 1998. The success of the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology in Pakistan has inspired the establishment of a similar IT center at Damascus , Syria , which was inaugurated in January 2001.

Linkages with International Institutions

Name of Institution Purpose
The University of Sussex, UK Exchange of information, faculty development.
University of Leicester, UK Faculty Incharge, joint Research Projects, provision of higher degree training to teaching staff, joint conferences, exchange of students.
Tampere University of Technology, Finland Faculty development, curriculum development, exchange of experts, technical information & services.
Joint Insitute of Nuclear Research, Dubna, Russia
Helsinki University of Technology, Finland Encourage direct contact, academic mobility and cooperation between Faculty and staff members, department of research institutes & students.
The University of Glasgow, UK Joint research, lectures, symposia and exchange of faculty and students; cooperation relating technology transfer issues; exchange of information and materials in field of mutual interest
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA Cooperative professional linkages. Exchange of faculty, research scientists, and institutional managers.
University of Nebraska, USA Collaborative Research, Training, Curriculum, Institutional development, Exchange of faculty & students.
Joint Institute of Nuclear Research, Dubna, Russia Research in nuclear physics through exchange of researchers, joint research, joint organized symposia
University of Bradford, UK To help establish Mechanical and Manufacturing engineering program
Population & Development Research Institute, Nankai University, China Joint research projects. Exchange of faculty and students. Collaborative training activities.
School of Management, University of Surrey, U.K Joint research projects. Exchange of faculty and students. Collaborative training activities.
International School of Management, University of Applied Sciences, Dortmund, Germany. Joint research projects, Exchange of faculty and students. Collaborative training activities.
The University of Hull, UK Collaborative research, faculty development.
The University of Essex, UK Development of High Speed Optical Communication Lab
The University of Leeds, U.K Collaborative academic research and development activities.
Michigan Technological University, Houghton, USA Collaborative academic research and development activities.
Merseburg University of Applied Sciences, IBK, Germany MS/PhD level training of CIIT faculty, collaborative research, student exchange & training programs.
Center for Capacity Building, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder CO, USA To jointly establish an Institute for Climate and Society Affairs (ICSA) at CIIT
Norwegian Seismic Array, NORSAR, Kjeller, Norway Seismology and Earthquake risk evaluation
Queen Mary, University of London, U.K Collaborative academic research and development activities.
Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU), Uganda MS/PhD level training of CIIT faculty, research and Linguistic Cooperation
University of Bologna, Italy Joint Doctoral Degree Program
Alliance Francaise, Islamabad (French Based) Launching of French online Programme at CIIT
The Embassy of France Introduction of French on-line program
Beijing Language and Culture University, China To identify and initiate the areas of collaborative research involving staff and research students…
Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT), China Collaborative research, academic exchanges, PhD level training for CIIT’s young faculty.
Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (GUCAS), China Collaborative research, academic exchanges, PhD level training for CIIT’s young faculty.
Tongji University, China Advanced level training of CIIT’s faculty, joint research projects, faculty exchanges.
Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), China PhD/MS level training of CIIT’s faculty, joint research projects, faculty exchanges.