INTRODUCTION TO CAC
Universities have an important role to play in the socio-economic development of countries. Specifically Science & Technology Universities all over the world make significant contributions to development of technology in an economy.
Keeping the above in view, the academic programs of the National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) are designed to meet the national needs and challenges of the new millennium. Fields of Engineering, Life Sciences and Natural Sciences are continuously updated with emerging trends; at the same time, modern disciplines are being offered to prepare professionals to manage the ever-growing demands of a knowledge economy with requisite degree of expertise. It has been the aim of NUST to develop the University into a Centre of Excellence for advanced scientific and technological research, and to emerge as a leader in academic research in Pakistan. These objectives have been fulfilled through the induction of the most brilliant and dynamic faculty, and providing their mental and creative abilities with a nurturing and enabling environment. This has facilitated excellence in R&D at the NUST schools.
In conjunction with academic research, NUST has also laid emphasis on practical, solution-based, Industry-specific R&D, both for the training and development of our students, and for providing support to the local Industry. One of the advantages of NUST’s location is its close vicinity to Islamabad’s Industrial and Corporate Sectors. Through the combined and multi-disciplinary strengths of 18 constituent Schools, Colleges and Institutes, NUST is well-equipped to serve several Sectors of the economy with its intellectual capital (1000+ faculty and 11,000+ students) and state-of-the-art lab and research infrastructure. At the same time, in Pakistan’s economy there is currently a minimum wastage of 10-12%, which amounts to approximately USD 20-25 billion. These wastages will be removed through knowledge input and technology, and the gaps can be filled through University-Industry linkages. The technical and academic strengths of NUST; combined with the needs of the Industry to find innovative, practical and cost-effective solutions; and the need of the economy to flourish through advancements in technology; are the basis for the establishment of the Corporate Advisory Council (CAC) at NUST.
The CAC was formed in 2010, with the simple mandate of having a positive impact on the socio-economic development of Pakistan through active engagement with the Industry. The CAC has developed linkages with industrial and business enterprises across nine Sectors of the economy. Also part of the CAC are senior representatives from Government establishments, thereby creating a unique triple-helix combination of Academia, Industry and Government, engaging in advisory, consultation and R&D collaboration. The CAC brings the NUST Institutes and the Industry together on a common platform, enabling them to join hands to find workable solutions, through R&D, to real-life problems encountered in product development, design and commercialization. The projects that NUST schools engage in with the Industry add value in terms of process efficiencies leading to cost reduction or quality improvements, product improvements, product or process innovation, etc.
The alignment of traditionally opposed academic and industrial worldviews is embodied in the nine Sector Committees of the Council, including Automotive, Bio-Technology, Infrastructure, Information & Communications Technology (ICT), Engineering, Banking & Financial Services (BFSS), Energy, Chemical, and the Social Sector. In a period of 5 years, the CAC membership has grown to include more than 150 members from top-line local and international business and industrial firms, banking and investment houses, high-level public policy-makers, and intellectuals. Cooperation and collaboration between Industry and NUST Academia has led to innovative projects aimed at providing solutions to Industrial and Corporate partners. Coming together on the CAC platform has also enhanced inter-Industry linkages, which, in turn, is strengthening University-Industry linkages. Moreover, it has helped human capital development at NUST in more practical, Industry-specific, and meaningful terms, ranging from the curriculum, which is continuously revised to include Industry orientation, to student placements including internships, on-the-job training, and employment within the industry, creating an overall environment of Industry-specific human capital development. The CAC and NUST have several international collaborations including foreign universities, business councils, and corporate entities.
The CAC is headed by Engr. M. Asghar, (HI) Rector NUST, and Engr. Dr. M. Akram Sheikh, Professor Emeritus NUST. Mr. Amer Hashmi, Advisor NUST is the Secretary General of the Council. Each Sector Committee is headed by an Industry Co-Chair and a NUST Co-Chair, and comprises members from the Industry and NUST schools. The CAC Partners in its nine Sector Committees include the leading names from different Industries, including Indus Motor Company Ltd, Atlas Honda Ltd., Huawei Technologies Pakistan, House of Habib, Asian Development Bank, National Bank of Pakistan, Fauji Foundation, Siemens Pakistan Engineering Company, Oil and Gas Development Company, NESPAK, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, Planning Commission of Pakistan, Ministry of Science & Technology Pakistan, and many others.