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Investment in scientific research has highest rate of return


Speakers at the international workshop have said that the Covid-19 outbreak has made it clear that indigenous capacity in science and technology is critically important for every country, big or small.

“The third world countries have no money to invest in science and technology.”

Investment in scientific research relevant to national needs has the highest rate of return, they said, adding that Nanotechnology offers new prospects of developing affordable, quick, and scalable solutions in the diagnoses and treatment of COVID-19 and other diseases.

They were speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the International Workshop on “Nanomedicine – Development and Challenges” held at the COMSTECH Secretariat on Monday.

Federal Secretary Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) Dr. Arshad Mahmood delivered the inaugural lecture, while among others who also spoke on the occasion included Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary, COMSTECH Coordinator-General, and Director of the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi, Prof. Dr. N.M. Butt, the Fellow of Pakistan Academy of Sciences, Dr. Abdul Rasheed, the drug regulator, and scientist, Prof. Dr. Irshad Hussain from LUMS, and Ms. Khazima Muazim.

COMSTECH Islamabad is organising the three-day workshop from 15th to 17th March 2021. The workshop is focused on the emerging field of Nanomedicine. This workshop will be delivered by 15 leading scientists from UK, USA, Germany, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and Pakistan. Dr. Arshad Mahmood said that the Covid-19 outbreak had exposed the capacity building of many countries, he said, adding that the pandemic has also taken a devastating blow on the Pakistani economy.

The federal secretary urged the country’s scientists to tell the government in clear words which are the areas of sciences where the country should move forward for the desired development, and said that Nanotechnology was one of the areas we need to move forward.

Ministry of Science & Technology is particularly active in developing strategies for the promotion of Nanotechnology in the country, he said.

Prof. Iqbal Choudhary lamented that the dilemma of the third world countries was that they had no money to invest in science and technology.

He said that modern technologies provided us opportunities to leap forward and catch up with the developed nations by harnessing the creative potential of our youth.

COMSTECH has initiated large programs for developing capacity and skills and networking for young scholars in the fields of frontier science and emerging technologies, he said.

There is a dire need for investment in the areas of science and technology, as the third world countries do have the infrastructure and qualified scholars, he observed.

He said, “Nanotechnology offers new prospects of developing affordable, quick and scalable solutions in diagnoses and treatment of COVID-19 and other diseases and manufacturing of personal protective equipment.”

Prof. Dr. N.M. Butt, who is the initiator of Nanotechnology in Pakistan, informed the inaugural ceremony that the Preston Institute of Nano Science and Technology (PINSAT) of the Preston University, Islamabad was the first and the only institute in Pakistan, probably at the time also in the OIC, which has produced BS (4yr) graduates with a Multidisciplinary degree in “Nanoscience and Nanotechnology” with advanced level nano-based courses in Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Materials Science, to help meet the needs of human resource in Pakistan in this exciting technology.

He said, “Nanotechnology is now regarded as Industrial Revolution.”Talking about Nanomedicine, he said this area of medicine was fast developing due to exotic applications of nanotechnol.

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