Pakistan as a nation is gradually striding towards a new era of industrialization. This can be seen all around the country mainly in the form of big industrial investment projects, locally as well as from abroad. Key personalities of the business world are profoundly interested in various new fields in order to promote the tech-culture here. Along with new advances in fields such as Information Technology (IT), the greats of the Biotechnological world in Pakistan have also taken an initiative to uphold biotechnology in the country. This could very well be a turning point in the nation’s developmental history provided the conditions necessary for such progress.
The “TFN – Biotech Young Leaders Conference” was indeed a vital first step in making this progress possible. Organized by the Directorate of Science and Technology (DoST) and the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in collaboration with the Institute of Integrative Biosciences (IIB), CECOS University on 11th March, 2017 at Pearl Continental Hotel, Peshawar, this conference marked the beginning of a Biotech revolution in Pakistan by taking a crucial step to introduce the field in its ampleness. Amongst the ranks of the honored speakers and guests were Dr. Faisal F. Khan (Director IIB), Mr. Zahoor-ul-Haq (Director DoST), Mr. Shafique-ur-Rahman (CEO Rahman Medical Institute) and Mr. Salman Ahmad (Co-founder Peshawar 2.0) who shared their insights with the students on promoting the Biotech industry in Pakistan along with presenting innovative methods of entrepreneurship.
The event opened with a formal welcome to the participants by Dr. Faisal, following a casual chat with the students in which they were briefed about the purpose of the program. ‘Take initiative, have perseverance, build up your emotional quotient along with your intelligence quotient’, remarked Dr. Faisal. The discussion graduated then to a more comprehensive note involving brainstorming sessions and short presentations by groups of students focusing on the future of the biotech world in Pakistan as well as entailing immediate challenges. This interactive session led to a series of well thought ideas that could prove to be the sought out solutions. Yusuf from COMSATS, Islamabad quotes, ‘It is one of the most interactive conferences I have attended and says a lot about where the future of Biotech industry is Pakistan is headed.’
Mr. Zahoor-ul-Haq was then invited on stage to share his views with the students. He made it certain that the Biotech industry of Pakistan has full support of the government and that they should move forward and change the face of Pakistan with their state-of-the-art ideas. Afterwards, Mr. Shafique-ur-Rahman, the CEO of RMI graced the occasion as the keynote speaker who shared his keen interest in the biotech field. He greatly motivated all students regarding their field by stating that biotechnology is indeed the future. The students were also presented with a chance to learn how to build potential CVs in order to make their way into their field by Mr. Salman Ahmad. All speakers agreed that rather than sticking to the archaic business model of being commodity-oriented, there is a huge market demand for novel biotech talent.
One of the students, Maham from COBAM says, ‘This conference is setting a benchmark of interactive sessions where we are not only getting to communicate with relevant people from the field of Biotech but also getting knowledge about moving ahead in the rat race of success.’
The program was concluded by Dr. Faisal with some exciting announcements including the iGEM 2017. He also promised that this conference will entail a whole new series of events including Community Meetups, Students Internship Program, and Certification Programs, to name a few. According to him, these events will provide the students with the privilege to share space with the great scientists and industrialists of the biotech world.
Certification ceremony was held at the end of the program for all the participants.