With the rapid technological developments around the globe, the importance of effective innovative solutions for the world problems has become more relevant. Universities are considered key players in bringing these innovative solutions and thereby exposing isolated researches to the industry through commercialization.
Universities are places of knowledge creation, knowledge capturing, and knowledge sharing. Here, ideas are openly exchanged; existing phenomenon and processes are challenged and societal intellectual standards are enhanced through the pursuit of inquiry and intrigue. Traditionally, universities were involved in teaching and isolated research where the latter has not been given its due importance. In world’s renowned universities, both teaching and research are given equal importance and that is why they are considered as the beacon of knowledge creation. We believe that in order to catch up with the leading universities around the world, universities in Pakistan must also focus on quality research alongside teaching and the commercialization of this research in order to provide indigenous and innovative solutions to the local problems.
Moreover, due to the back to back financial crises around the world in past few decades, researchers and practitioners are now agreeing on the fact that instead of relying on large organizations where there is always a danger of “too big to fail”, countries must promote entrepreneurship among youth and support small and medium organizations if they want sustainable economic development. According to the recently published report of UNDP (2016), Pakistan is among the youngest countries where more than 60% of its population is under the age of 30. Moreover, according to the government’s figures, there is a need of 2 million jobs for the youth on yearly basis. Entrepreneurship is the answer to this problem. Through entrepreneurship, one can benefit from capturing knowledge and innovative ideas and converting it to feasible business solutions and job creation. Leading universities around the globe have validated this model where students have converted their business ideas into successful businesses (e.g. Google & Facebook etc.).
Those universities have come a long way of infrastructural developments and now the availability of resources gives them the competitive advantage. However, because of the rapid technological developments and the easy access to information to the people around the globe, developing counties like Pakistan has a huge opportunity to eliminate the traditional developmental models that those developed countries have gone through. Therefore, a need of the time is to offer support to our youth for their indigenous research and entrepreneurial ideas at the university level which will hopefully quicken our progress towards catching up with the developed world in terms of research and development, technological and economic growth.
To this backdrop, Karakorum International University, Gilgit while being situated in the remotest and comparatively underdeveloped area of Pakistan is embarking upon establishing the Office of Research, Innovation and Commercialization (ORIC). The purpose is to address the local problems through our indigenous research and commercialize the same to the industry for a larger impact. ORIC will also offer support to youth for their unique and innovative business ideas to be converted into startups and ultimately become a self-sustainable business.