UCP, LCCI, SMEDA meet to integrate academia and industry to promote rapid national growth

UCP, LCCI and SMEDA meet to integrate both academia and industry through strategic alignment with national policies of promoting entrepreneurship and investing in new ideas.

The University of Central Punjab UCP, Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry LCCI, and the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority SMEDA, Government of Pakistan organized a meeting at UCP Takhleeq Business Incubator on an agile strategy to integrate both academia and industry through strategic alignment with national policies of promoting the industry productivity, manufacturing, and national exports while recognizing the opportunity for entrepreneurship and investing in new ideas.

The meeting was convened by UCP’s Provost Dr. Faisal Mustafa, UCP’s Director ORIC Mr. Fouad Riaz Bajwa, UCP’s Director QEC Ms. Mehr Jabeen Agha, Associate Professor Dr. Ali Nasir, Head of Department, Faculty of Engineering, UCP Takhleeq Senior Manager Mr. Uzair Shahid, Provincial Chief SMEDA Mr. Javed Afzal, Engr. Sajjad Afzal Sheikh, CEO M/s Afzal Machinery Stores and Executive Committee Member LCCI, Shafiq Butt, CEO M/s Ayesha Fabrics, Executive Committee Member LCCI, Mr. Abdul Rafeh Iqbal, M/s Immaj Holdings, Executive Committee Member LCCI, and Mr. Abdul Basit LCCI.

Dr. Faisal Mustafa, Provost UCP welcomed the guests and stressed upon the need to integrate university students into the industry through a rapid integration program in direct close coordination with the LCCI and SMEDA. The LCCI SME Committee and industry members emphasized the need to introduce students to the industry by including them directly into the manufacturing and business process during studies at the university. Mr. Sajjad Afzal, Convener SME Committee at LCCI highlighted the need to have internships and hands-on semesters of study inside industries and SMEs for students from the Engineering, Business, and IT faculties.

The LCCI membership encouraged working closely with UCP and SMEDA to integrate faculty and students into the national productivity and output process that the present government has catalyzed as it needs a significant amount of talented human resources. However, this human resource needs to be sensitized to the manufacturing and SME work environments through a hands-on approach during their studies. A combination of having hands-on semesters for higher education programs was a key interest area for discussion.

Provincial Chief SMEDA, Mr. Afzal shared that SMEDA is geared towards helping remove gaps that have prevailed for years between academia and industry. Addressing these gaps strategically will create the required momentum for national growth. Academia and industry are significant contributors to national productivity and must work hand in hand to catalyze the economic engine.

Director ORIC Fouad Riaz Bajwa assured the industry that UCP is working towards integrating academia-industry linkages by engaging directly with the industry and incorporating their direct input into academic and research activities by involving LCCI members in various academic and research activities to support the demands of the industry and national growth agenda.

UCP, LCCI, and SMEDA will be coordinating a closely integrated committee to achieve rapid and agile engagement between academia and industry.