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

COMSATS-EU Awareness Seminar highlights Funding Opportunities through Horizon2020

Home   /   COMSATS-EU Awareness Seminar highlights Funding Opportunities through Horizon2020

Breakthroughs in scientific R&D constitute the backbone of innovation-led development. Especially for the resource-constrained countries, low R&D budgets leave scientists and researchers struggling to meet their study goals and they are not able to play their due role in national development. Funding opportunities from external sources such as the European Union’s Horizon 2020 play an important role in filling the research funding gap.

Cognizant of this issue and relevant needs, COMSATS in collaboration with the Service Facility Wing of the European Union organized an awareness seminar on European Union’s Horizon 2020, in Islamabad, on 7th May 2018. The purpose of the Seminar was to educate the academia and research organizations on various aspects of applying for the funding under Horizon 2020, which is one of the biggest EU research and innovation programme. The programme that is worth €80 Billion is available from 2014-2020 and caters to three key areas: excellent science, industrial leadership, and societal challenges. Minister, Deputy Head of Mission, Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan, Ms. Anne Marchal, and Executive Director

COMSATS, Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, spoke on behalf of their organizations.

A Technology Transfer Consultant, Mr. George Panagopoulos, provided training on thThe event was attended by a number of Vice-chancellors and researchers, looking to improving chances of benefitting from good funding opportunities. The event proceedings were made available through live-streaming to a wider audience, including COMSATS Ministerial focal points, Centres of Excellence, and partner organizations in different continents. Some representatives of foreign missions in Pakistan were also present on the occasion.

ree thematic aspects pertaining to H2020. These covered an introduction to the programme and work plan for the last two years; sources of information on the programmes and documentation needs; and ways to prepare and submit proposals best suited to qualify for the funding. Mr. Panagopoulos was representing the PRAXI Network, Greece. He highlighted the available funding opportunities in the fields of transport, energy, environment, biotechnology, nanotechnology, defense, agriculture, forestry, social sciences.

Opening the Seminar, Dr. Zaidi recalled to the audience the warm working relations that COMSATS has been able to establish with organizations from the North over the span of last few months, including the European Commission. He believed that all who attended the seminar physically as well as electronically would feel better informed and equipped to duly benefit from H2020. Highlighting the importance of good research, he emphasized the need for developing countries to benefit from the programme and considered COMSATS a useful facilitation platform in this regard.


Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Marchal highlighted the importance of H2020 for researchers and scientists across the globe and appreciated COMSATS’ effort to disseminate important information on the programme for the benefit of many. She considered programmes such as Erasmus+ and H2020 as an important link between the EU and developing countries. She informed that the seminar materialized as a result of the working relations developed between COMSATS and EU earlier and thanked Dr. Zaidi for a proactive partnership from COMSATS.


The participants of the event took with them great encouragement in the form of success stories from Pakistan. Two Pakistani researchers, Prof. Dr. Syed Habib Bukhari and Dr. Amina Khan shared their experiences that helped them secure funding for their projects under the programme. Dr. Bukhari and Dr. Khan had won funding for their projects on “MeTABLE–Advanced Bioinformatics for Genome and Metagenome and Discovery of Novel Biocatalyst from Extremophiles: Implications for Improving Industrial Processes” and “Tobacco cessation within TB programmes: A ‘real world’ solution for countries with dual burden of disease”, respectively. Dr. Bukhari mentioned that policy makers should collaborate with students, researchers and technical experts to help maximize the benefits of such funding opportunities for national development. Dr. Khan noted that having good track record in one’s area of research is of utmost importance for securing funding under H2020.


Discussion and Q&A sessions of the event further complemented the training imparted during the seminar. These pertained to: national focal points for H2020, available sources of information, capacity-building aspects of the projects, joint venturing between universities, possibilities for social science related projects, important timelines, ICTs in agriculture, inter-disciplinarity of the projects and intellectual property. Q&A session also entertained queries from COMSATS Centres of Excellence.


George Panagopoulos [ Presentation 1] [ Presentation 2 ] [ Presentation 3 ]  [ Presentation 4 ]
[ Presentation 5 ] [ Presentation 6 ]

Prof. Habib Bokhari    [ Presentation ]

Dr. Amina Khan            [ Presentation ]

Upcoming Events

Workshop on Metrology for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Gebze Kocaeli, Turkey
Nov 26 – Nov 27 all-day

[ Brochure ] [ Registration Form ]


The important role of the Quality Infrastructure, comprised of metrology, standardization, accreditation and certification institutions, in the process of socio-economic development of countries cannot be overemphasized. They provide a critically important technical foundation for industrial development and global trade, and functioning national measurement systems support in increasing industrial productivity and enhancement of product quality for international markets.

Many developing countries, particularly Least Developed Countries (LDCs), do not have adequate quality infrastructures, which limits their economic development prospects as products and services fail to meet the demands of domestic and international customers as well as requirements imposed by mandatory regulations. A component of this problem is that these countries lack the requisite technical expertise and knowledge concerning the development, operation and maintenance of metrology facilities, which technically underpin all other functions of the quality infrastructure.

There is, therefore, an urgent need to intensify efforts for capacity building of relevant organizations in the developing countries in order to enhance their expertise and upgrade their infrastructure in the area of metrology, thereby also spurring development in other areas of the quality infrastructure and ultimately facilitating industrial development, growth in trade and a rise in societal well-being.


Keeping the above in view, the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS); and the TUBITAK National Metrology Institute (TUBITAK UME), Turkey; are jointly organizing a two-day workshop on Metrology for the Least Developed Countries.

The workshop will be held on 26 – 27 November 2018 (Monday-Tuesday), which will be hosted by the TUBITAK National Metrology Institute in Gebze, Turkey.


The primary objective of the workshop is to enhance the knowledge-base, expertise and capacity of the institutions working in the field of metrology in the least developed countries, as well as to prepare roadmaps towards addressing their needs to develop metrology infrastructures with the capability of supporting their economies.

The workshop shall also facilitate the building of regional and international partnerships for the sharing of approaches and best practices in the field of metrology.


The workshop will include technical presentations by relevant subject experts and scientists belonging to LDCs, Member States of COMSATS and international development organizations, as well as discussion sessions and laboratory visits.


The focus of the workshop is on the least developed countries, particularly those that are also members of COMSATS, namely Bangladesh, Gambia, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

The policy makers, scientists and experts in the field of metrology belonging to the least developed countries and the Member States of COMSATS, as well as representatives of relevant international development organizations and donor agencies are invited to participate in the event.


Partial or full financial support will be provided to selected foreign participants from LDCs and Member States of COMSATS.


Mr. Omer Altan
Head of International Relations Department
Barış Mah. Dr. Zeki Acar Cad. No:1
41470 Gebze, Kocaeli, Turkey
Tel: 90 262 679 50 00 ext. 2901

Mr. Farhan Ansari
Sr. Assistant Director (Programmes)
COMSATS Headquarters,
Shahrah-e-Jamhuriat, Sector G-5/2,
Islamabad, Pakistan.
Tel: +92 51 9214515-7 ext. 209

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