An International Workshop on Business Incubation Center was held on 6-8th December, 2010, at Islamabad. The workshop was organized by Business Incubation Center, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad and National University of Sciences and Technology. It was sponsored by Higher Education Commission and Competitiveness Support Fund. The stakeholders from all the major Public Sector Universities participated in the workshop. This workshop has promoted BIC CIIT at national and international level.
The Executive Director HEC Prof. Dr. Sohail Naqvi was kind enough to inaugurate the workshop. Rector CIIT was represented by Dr. Arshad Malik at the occasion.
The Resource Persons sponsored by CSF included Mr. Joe Yang Attorney-Advisor, US Department of Commerce, Dr. Steven Price, Associate Vice President, Technology Development, Oklahoma State University and Dr. Ron Duggins, Director, Center of Business Development, Meridian Technology Center, Oklahama. Justice Shakir Ullah Jaan of Pakistan Supreme Court was invited as a special speaker on IP rights.
The workshop is part of the policy of the Government of Pakistan, HEC and CIIT to make Pakistan knowledge based society in the shortest possible time. A way forward for this is to establish Incubation Centers at the Universities to transfer benefit of the university R&D to the society. This road map meets the objective to provide quality jobs and contributes towards minimizing the brain drain.
Dr. Sohail Naqvi, Executive Director HEC elaborated the efforts made by HEC to overhaul the university infrastructure, laboratories, curricula and to develop the faculty. He also elaborated HEC efforts to send about 10000 students abroad for their higher education. The excellence achieved in education should now be used for the socio-economic benefit of the nation.
The workshop deliberated as to how best the Incubation Centers can be established at the universities. The workshop was completely interactive and the participants were allowed to put up question at any point they considered necessary. The resulting discussions clarified the concepts to a large extent.
Mr. Joe Yang in his talks comprehensively dealt with the intellectual property laws and their possible infringements. He also elaborated the efforts of his organization CLDP (Commercial Law Development Program) support for innovation and & entrepreneurship in Pakistan.
Justice Shakir Ullah Jaan of Pakistan Supreme Court highlighted the efforts by Pakistan in the field of protection of Intellectual Property rights.
Dr. Steven Price had his sessions on all the three days of the workshop. He deliberated on the incubation related topics viz “New Company Formation, Conflict of Interest in various stake holders, Incentive of faculty in revenue generated, Incubators and licensing the new start ups”. He also talked on marketing internally and externally” by universities, and observed that all possible means should be used for this purpose. He emphasized on various milestone required to judge the progress of a center. His talk included the university IP policies and the Incubation Frame Work and the role of Universities in Economic Development. He pointed out that the university R&D cannot generate income for the university, generally, without proper incentives to the faculty. For his university the formula for distribution of royalty from industry was 50% for faculty, 25% for the department and 25% for the university. He informed that only 5% of the R&D budget of universities in US was derived from industry. He advised that the patents should preferably be held in the name of the university. US federal laws have been changed to allow the faculty to take up commercial activity in office hours. He showed statistically that the number of licenses awarded by a university to industry were directly proportional to federal funds received by it. He enumerated various marketing methods which essentially meant the use of all means. He said that there were advantages for both the university and the industry in mutual interaction.
Dr. Ron Duggins in his lectures emphasized that successful incubators have good business plan and innovation competition. He described the fundamentals of management, financial management, ethics of IP rights, fund raising and relationship between incubation centers and the universities. The Incubators also provide services to the client’s e.g. Administrative, Business Development, Strategic Planning and business registration services. Other services can be added according to local environment. Finally he elaborated the role of universities in Fuelling Entrepreneurship. This role is important in technology and innovation based economic development. He categorically said that the innovation centers are never profit earning institutions.
For the first two days CIIT arranged the workshop at the Learning Innovation Center HEC. The day three was arranged by NUST at their Campus. On the third day at NUST, a number of successful Pakistani entrepreneurs described their experiences regarding successful development of their companies.
The closing session was addressed by the chief guest Dr. Akram Sheikh, Executive Director HEC Dr. Sohail Naqvi, Rector NUST Lt. Gen. Muhammad Asghar, representative of Rector CIIT Dr. Arshad Malik and the Director Economic Growth Mr. William Baldrige. The participants were highly motivated with the expert comments. The speakers appreciated the successful conduction of the workshop and its socioeconomic importance. At the end of the session souvenirs and certificates were given to the distinguished guests and the participants.
The organizing committee of CIIT consisting Dr. Mirza Mansoor Beg, Advisor Technology and Project Director BIC, Mr. Shahid Ansari, Project Director TIC, Mr. Muhammad Mehrul Hassan, Mr. Bilal Bashir, and Miss Atiya Syed is grateful to NUST organizing committee for their cooperation, and is indebted to Rector CIIT Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi for his all out support for making this workshop a success.
Highlights of presentation on Incubation Centers by Resource persons.
1. Dr. Ron Duggins
2. Dr. Steve Price
• Licensing vs. New Company Formation
3. Mr. Joe Yang
4. Justice Shakir Ullah Jaan of Pak Supreme Court
Incubation Center -- Additional Reading Material