Two-Day Symposium on Academia-Industry Collaboration Concludes at MUET

JAMSHORO MAY 20: Two-Day Symposium on Academia-Industry Collaboration on Water Technologies Research concluded at Training Center of Foreign Faculty Hostel, Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET) Jamshoro. The two-day symposium was organized by U.S.-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Water (USPCAS-W) housed at MUET in collaboration with the University of Utah at Training Center. Mr. Waseem Vohra, Vice President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) chaired the first-day session on Industry-Academia Water Technologies Research Forum. Mr. Vohra said that Industry of Pakistan was facing the immense problems and issues regarding the water, its availability, conservation, use and reuse. He said that 95% of Water in Pakistan used for Agriculture which contributes 20% in GDP, whereas Industry consumes only 2% of Water but contributes 22% in GDP of the country. Nevertheless, he said that industry was paying heavy prize for water consumption particularly in Karachi. Mr. Vohra was looking forward to the academia and researchers to come up with solutions and recommendation to the industry regarding water issues faced by the country. Dr. Rasool Bux Mahar, Deputy Director (Academics & Research) at USPCAS-W, the co-chair of the session while sharing the goals and objectives of the symposium said that this workshop aimed at to provide platform to share industry and academic perspectives on technology needs, application, and innovations. He further elaborating the objectives said that through this symposium the forum will generate the ideas for industry-academic collaborative research in water technologies and to build partnership between industry and academia. In the panel discussion, experts belong to the academia, industry and water sector including Mr. Siraj Nasir Siddiqi from Afghanistan, Dr. Arshad Mahmood, Mr. Nazeer Ahmed Memon,General Manager Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority (SIDA), spoke on the water related business opportunities in Pakistan and the key research development needs to take advantage of these opportunities. In discussion Mr. Siddiqi said that academia could help the industry and community outreach by convincing the authorities that new technologies can bring change by using the huge advantage of data and modern techniques. Mr. Nazeer Memon, GM SIDA said that people in Pakistan especially working in the government sector are very much reluctant to use the new technologies. While sharing his observation, Mr. Memon said that in order to save the water, majority of the landlords who were repeatedly convinced to use the modern irrigation systems but they just installed the equipment to get the subsidy provided by the government and international development agencies. Dr. Awais Khatri, faculty member of Textile Department MUET said that textile industries is believed one of the most polluted industries of the world, whereas in Pakistan 60% export is textile based productions. He further quoted World Bank Report 2015 said that 17 to 20% of world’s pollution come from the textile industry. Dr. Tariq Banuri, Associate Director USPCAS-W, University of Utah, Dr. Mohammad Aslam Chaudhry, Chief of Party USPCAS-W University of Utah, Dr. Bakhshal Khan Lashari, Project Director USPCAS-W, MUET and others participated in the question and answer sessions followed by the panel discussion. The second panel discussion was held on Emerging Water Technology Research to Support Industry, moderated by Dr. Arjumand Zehra Zaidi, Senior Research Fellow at USPCAS-W, MUET. Panelists includes Ms. Hadiq Maqsood, Assistant Professor USPCAS-W, Dr. Zeshan Khatri, Mr. Wasif Tanveer, from LUMS Lahore, Professor MUET, Dr. Awais Khatri, Dr. Altaf Siyal, Professor USPCAS-W MUET, delivered their talk on Sensors for Canal Water Management, Information Technology for Canal Monitoring, Nano Fiber Membrane Technology, Zero Emission and Soil and Salinity Monitoring respectively. This panel discussion incorporated the remarks and comments from the academia by describing a range of research activities developing technologies and its link to industry. The panel discussion was followed by the poster display of idea generation presented by the students of USPCAS-W and other departments of MUET. Dr. Mike Barber from University of Utah, concluded the first session by describing the examples of business-academia partnership from the business and academic perspectives. On the second day of the symposium, the Workshop on Industry-Academia Water Technologies Research Co-Creation was organized to advance cooperation of academics and the private sector to innovate the new technologies and strategies to solve the water problems in Pakistan. Dr. Steve Burian, Director USPCAS-W University of Utah, chaired the workshop and Dr. Rasool Bux Mahar moderated the event. Dr. Krista Carlson, University of Utah, USA gave presentation on Entrepreneurship and Water Technologies, Mr. Siraj Nasir Siddiqi delivered his talk on Insight into Business-Academia Research Collaboration for Water Technologies in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Dr. Zeeshan Khatri and Dr. Zulfiqar Umrani discussed the Incubators and available resources at MUET, Dr. Mercedes Ward gave presentation on Diffusion of Water Technologies. She described the challenges, proven practices and examples of effectively introducing water technologies by highlighting the concepts of diffusion of innovations. MUET faculty members, professional of water sector, people form industry and researchers participated in the two-day symposium and shared their valuable comments and innovative ideas.