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Social development through entrepreneurship Second round of FICS’17 concludes at NUST

Islamabad April 18 – The Stage 2 Event and Opening Ceremony of Finding Innovative & Creative Solutions for Society (FICS’17), a platform to foster social entrepreneurship, was held at National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) here on Tuesday. Rear Admiral Dr Nassar Ikram, Pro-Rector Research Innovation & Commercialization (RIC), NUST graced the occasion as chief guest.  

FICS, launched in 2013 by NUST School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (SEECS), is an initiative aimed at social development through mobilizing the youth to find and solve social problems by applying their technical knowledge. Spread over 6 campuses comprising 18 constituents, it is a three-stage intra-NUST program closely aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) where the projects submitted are categorized according to the domains of the SDGs. This year, as many as 205 ideas were submitted from 13 NUST schools and colleges. A total of 138 teams, who had qualified for the second round, presented their ideas to the panel of esteemed industry judges.    

Extending his blessings to the participating teams, the chief guest appreciated the students for playing their part in solving the most pressing problems of Pakistan through technological intervention. He said that like with any ecosystem, the entrepreneurial ecosystem is also the combination of many critical components, all of which must work effectively and efficiently in unison to create the desired output. At this stage, he maintained, FICS has come forward as a viable platform for deployment and commercialization of students’ technology-based ideas. He also asserted that Academia, Industry, Government and Civil Society, should work together and focus their research on areas pertinent to the needs of the communities around.  

Earlier, Mr Amer Hashmi, Chief Strategy Officer (CSTO) NUST & Secretary General NUST Corporate Advisory Council (CAC), welcomed the guests and judges and congratulated the participants who were able to qualify for Stage-2 of FICS’17. He appreciated the efforts of students who, under the supervision of their faculty leads and mentorship of experts from industry, came through 5 months of rigorous hard work. 

At the occasion, TAME – a team of NUST students from SEECS, who designed a smart wearable device for Tremor Acquisition & Minimization, and were the winners of FICS 2016 last year, presented their project during the ceremony. TAME is a breakthrough technology that aims to give tremor patients their independence back; it seeks to normalize tremor and give patients control of their hand movement. TAME has recently brought great pride to NUST and Pakistan by winning the Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge, a worldwide competition held at Stanford, California, USA, on March 30. 

Later, Ms Rabia Shoaib, Director NUST CAC, thanked the guests from industry and judges for their valuable time. She also highlighted the role of partners from the industry and government for their contribution in developing FICS into a viable program. She also made special mention of the invaluable input of NUST alumni. She expressed her gratitude to the faculty and staff at NUST Schools and Colleges for wholeheartedly participating in FICS, and the Student Organizing Committee for working hard for months to make the program a success.  

After the opening ceremony, Rector NUST Lt Gen Naweed Zaman, HI (M), (Retd), visited the stalls. The student teams briefed him about their projects. The Rector appreciated the efforts of students, their faculty supervisors and their management, and emphasized on the role of Science & Technology Universities in improving the lives of communities through technological intervention. 

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National University of Sciences and Technology H-12, Islamabad, Pakistan