Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS)

COMSATS, ISESCO and PARC Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Biotechnology

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The 3rd International Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Biotechnology was held from 26th April to 27th April 2017, at the National Agriculture Research Centre, Islamabad, Pakistan. The 2-day Conference was jointly organized by COMSATS in collaboration with ISESCO and Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC).

The inaugural session of the workshop was attended by more than 130 national and international academicians and scientists hailing from different countries, including Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia, Sudan, Iran, Sri Lanka, and Uzbekistan. The Minister for Food Security and Research, Pakistan, His Excellency, Mr. Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan, graced the occasion with his presence as Chief Guest.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Guest considered it the right time to encourage and support smart agricultural practices, and expected the same outcome from the event. His Excellency assured full support of the Ministry help with initiatives relevant to sustainable food security.

The Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, in his message noted that biotechnology’s influence on food production and agriculture is undeniable, especially for countries like Pakistan with fertile lands and good weather conditions’. The Executive Director COMSATS encouraged scientists, farmers and extension specialists to create a regular forum for discussions on issues related to the theme of the Conference. Further, he hoped that this event will help in identifying new, better and innovative ways to making agricultural biotechnologies available, accessible and applicable to those who need them the most.

Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, Director General ISESCO, in his message stressed the need to provide an enriching and engaging environment to foster crop science research towards new and improved livelihood opportunities, and sustainable food and nutrition security for farmers in developing countries. He hoped that the conference will reflect on the current and future trends that require initiatives for identifying optimal solutions to the problems in the fields of agriculture, food security, and biotechnology.

Representing PARC, Dr. Yusuf Zafar, Chairman PARC, noted that despite many scientific advances during the past four decades, the developing world is facing the challenge of producing adequate food sustainably while conserving natural resources. He opined that to achieve and maintain productivity and sustainability of agricultural systems, it is crucial to be alert, and informed about new technologies that could change production and consumption concepts, standards and paradigms.

Dr. Ghulam Muhammad Ali, Member Coordination and Monitoring, PARC, Islamabad, mentioned that science and technology need to further advance to ensure food security and safety. He stated that this event is another critical step in PARC’s efforts in order to reach zero hunger, improve nutrition and promote sustainable food systems.

In the keynote speech at the Inaugural session, Dr. Kauser A. Malik, Department of Biological Sciences, FC College Lahore, opined that the fear of unknown keeps the human beings away from adopting new technologies, and advocated the use of genetically modified crops for addressing hunger.

The inaugural session was concluded with distribution of shields to international speakers from different countries.

The 2 day conference covered a total of 7 sessions including an inaugural session, 5 technical sessions and a parallel poster session. The technical sessions of the conference constituted 32 lectures in total and took a multi-sectoral approach, encompassing the crop, livestock, forestry and fishery sectors, as well as the use of microorganisms within these sectors. The Programme covered a wide range of topics, such as genome sequencing methods to marker-assisted breeding for crop improvement; microbial bio-pesticides and bio-stimulants to antimicrobial treatment for food safety; bio-products in plant protection; technologies of the agro-food products processing; and environmental risk assessment of transgenic plants to impact of development of agri-biotechnology research on food and economic security.

The Conference underscored the importance of agricultural biotechnologies for achieving Sustainable Development Goals related to hunger and nutrition. A few distinguished local speakers from the event included Dr. Zabta Khan Shinwari, Quaid-i-Azam University (Islamabad); Dr. Johar Ali, PARC (Islamabad); Dr. Tayyab Hasnain, Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology (Lahore); Dr. S.M. Saqlain Naqvi, PMAS Arid Agriculture University (Rawalpindi); and Dr. Aftab Bashir Forman Christian College (Lahore).

Presentations were made on research initiatives by scientists from various academic and research organizations including the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Islamabad; National Institute for Genomics and Advanced Biotechnology (NIGAB), Islamabad; Centre of Agricultural Biochemistry and Biotechnology (CABB), Faisalabad; University of Gujrat; National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE), Faisalabad; Punjab University, Lahore; Institute for Biotechnology and genetic Engineering (IBGE), Peshawar; Agricultural Biotechnology research Institute (ABRI), Faisalabad; Institute of Biomedical And Genetic Engineering, Islamabad; and Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (Rawalpindi).

The 35 posters covering a wide range of subjects in agricultural biotechnology were displayed throughout the event around the perimeter of the Conference Hall. Relevant Universities, R&D institutions and industries participated in the poster contest. The prizes for three best posters, based on novelty and potential for practical applications, were handed out during the concluding session on 27th April 2017.

The Conference ended on April 27, 2017, with closing remarks and vote of thanks by the representatives of the co-organizers of the event, Dr. Yusuf Zafar (PARC) and Mr. Tajammul Hussain (COMSATS). The international speakers, Dr. Zihni Demirbag, Karadeniz Technical University (Turkey), and Dr. Majid Javanmard Dakheli, Iranian research Organization for Science and Technology (Iran) also spoke at the concluding session. Certificates were also distributed among the participants.

Upcoming Events

Workshop on Water Resources: Expected Crises and Strategies of Predomination, at National Research Centre, Egypt
Mar 11 – Mar 12 all-day

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Theme: “Rational Use of Water Resources”

Background and Rationale of the Workshop

Many parts of the world today are confronted by an acute water crisis that has several facets, including water deprivation among the world’s poor, fast-rising global water demand and climate change. The water security and poverty nexus is a particularly serious issue for development. Economic activity and growth, which are necessary for job creation and raising incomes in developing countries, depend on adequate, affordable and reliable supplies of water.

One of the main goals of the UN to be achieved by 2030 is to “substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity” (SDG No. 6).


Keeping in mind the SDG number 17: “Partnerships for the Goals”; the National Research Centre (NRC), Cairo and the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS), Islamabad are co-organizing a workshop entitled “Water Resources: Expected Crises and Strategies of Predomination”.

Aims and Objectives

The workshop is designed to be an intensive co-working for specialists in the academic, administration and industrial sectors in all subjects of interest related to Science, Technology and Innovation. It will give them an opportunity to discuss, exchange opinion and reach recommendations of how to maximize efforts for rational use of water resources.

Targeted Participants

This event targets a wide range of participants, including:

  • Young scientists working in Science, Technology and Innovation with specific emphasis on water resources.
  • Academician working in industrial and service sectors related to water resources, and
  • Mid-to senior-level government officials in related Ministries.


All technical and discussion sessions of the workshop will be conducted in English language.

Financial Support

Accommodation for three nights in a suitable hotel and local transportation for international speakers and local administrative expenses of the workshop will be covered by NRC, Egypt. The economy class airfare and perdiam of the selected international speakers will be covered by COMSATS.


1. Water crisis in different parts of the world
2. Successful stories in water desalination
3. Successful stories in rational use of water in industrial sectors
4. Successful stories for rational use of water in agriculture
5. Future outlook regarding cooperative programs and projects among COMSATS Member States
6. Water recycling and utilization

How to Apply

Applications for participation (duly filled-in prescribed form, abstract of presentation, detailed CV and passport copy) are required to be submitted to NRC and COMSATS no later than Monday, 31st December 2018, at the following addresses:

Prof. Hosam El-Sayed
Assistant Vice President for Research &
International Relations
National Research Centre
33, El-Behouth St., 12311-Dokki,
Cairo, Egypt
Tel: (+20 100) 544 36 51
Fax: (+202 333) 701010

Mr. Farhan Ansari
Sr. Assistant Director (Programmes)
COMSATS Headquarters
Shahrah-e-Jamhuriat, G-5/2
Islamabad – Pakistan
Tel: (+92-51) 9214515-7
Fax: (+92-51) 9216539

The 22nd Meeting of COMSATS Coordinating Council, 16-17 April 2019, Tianjin, China
Apr 16 – Apr 17 all-day

The Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) is pleased to announce the convening of the 22nd meeting of its Coordinating Council scheduled to be held in Tianjin, China, on 16 – 17 April 2019. The meeting will be hosted by COMSATS’ Centre of Excellence, the Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology (TIB), Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. The meeting programme includes a visit to TIB’s laboratories on 18th April 2019.

The Coordinating Council meets every year, inter alia, to: review the activities of COMSATS’ Network; follow up on the decisions and recommendations made in the previous meeting; and outline the future course of action.

Invitations and Confirmation of Participation

The Executive Director COMSATS has extended invitations to all members of the Coordinating Council. The representatives of some international partner organizations have also been invited to participate in the meeting as Observers.

COMSATS Headquarters is closely coordinating with the host institution (TIB) to ensure timely arrangements.

Agenda and Working Paper

The provisional Agenda of the meeting has been prepared. The detailed Working Paper and associated documents of the meeting are under preparation and will be electronically distributed to the Council members and other invitees during first half of March 2019.

For further details, please contact:

COMSATS Secretariat, Pakistan TIB, China

Mr. Tajammul Hussain
Advisor (Programmes)
COMSATS Headquarters
Shahrah-e-Jamhuriat, G-5/2
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: (+92-51) 9204892
Fax: (+92-51) 9216539

Mr. Farhan Ansari
Sr. Assistant Director (Programmes)
COMSATS Headquarters
Shahrah-e-Jamhuriat, G-5/2
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: (+92-51) 9214515-7
Fax: (+92-51) 9216539

Prof. Dr. Jibin Sun
Deputy Director-General
Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology (TIB), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)
Tianjin, China
32 West 7th Avenue, Tianjin Airport Economic Area, Tianjin 300308, China
Tel: 0086-22-84861949
Fax: 0086-22-84861943

Ms. Qianqian Chai
Officer of Foreign Affairs and Academic Exchange
Division of Science and Technology Development
Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology (TIB), Chinese Academy of Sciences(CAS)
32 West 7th Avenue, Tianjin Airport Economic Area, Tianjin 300308, China
Tel: +86-2284861925