A two-member delegation from the Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS), Indonesia, visited COMSATS host country, Pakistan, from 29th January – 1st February 2020, with a view to explore opportunities of collaboration with COMSATS’ Centres of Excellence in Pakistan, i.e., COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI), Islamabad, and the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi. ITS is a prospective COMSATS’ Centre of Excellence whose membership case shall be considered/deliberate on in the forthcoming meeting of COMSATS Coordinating Council to be held at ICCBS in the first week of March 2020.
Apart from visits to the afore-mentioned Centres, the delegates, Prof. Bambang Pramujati (Vice Rector-IV of Research, Innovation, Cooperation, and Alumni at ITS) and Dr. Sri Fatmawati (Assistant Professor at Department of Chemistry, ITS) held important meetings at COMSATS Secretariat and Embassy of Indonesia in Islamabad.
On 31st January 2020, accompanied by COMSATS’ officials, Mr. Farhan Ansari (Senior Assistant Director, Programmes) and Mr. Babar Sultan (Protocol Officer), the Indonesian delegation visited COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI), Islamabad, and held a meeting with the officials of CUI International Office. Apart from Mr. Ali Tawab Baloch (Head International Office) and his team, the meeting was attended by Prof. Dr. Sajid Qamar, Head of Physics Department; and Dr. Shurjeel Wyne, Head of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of CUI.
During the meeting, presentations were made by both CUI and ITS officials followed by discussions on research commercialization and establishment of various research centres. The two parties agreed to initiate collaboration with regard to students and faculty exchanges and establishing bilateral linkages between respective international offices.
The delegates were also shown around various campus facilities including Junaid Zaidi Library.
Later during the day, the delegates visited COMSATS Secretariat and held a meeting with its Executive Director, Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, and other COMSATS’ officials. During the meeting, Dr. Zaidi highlighted the role that COMSATS is playing for bringing the developing countries of the South at par with the North through effective utilization of S&T. He mentioned some of COMSATS’ initiatives in this context and shared the organization’s future aspirations regarding establishment of high-tech centres and laboratories in its member states with collaboration of their governments and international partner organizations.
Moreover, Dr. Zaidi highlighted the key benefits of joining COMSATS’ Network as its Centre of Excellence that include participation in COMSATS’ international programmes in various areas of sustainability. In response, Prof. Pramujati affirmed participation of his Institute’s Rector in the forthcoming COMSATS Coordinating Council Meeting in connection with ITS’ prospective for COMSATS’ membership.
Dr. Zaidi also invited ITS to avail various opportunities of scholarships / fellowships available with COMSATS’ Network and urged the Institute to offer some for COMSATS’ member states. Further during the meeting, Mr. Tajammul Hussain, Advisor (Programmes), noted the potential of collaboration that exists between ITS and other COMSATS’ Centres in the area of electric vehicles. Likewise, Mr. Ansari, while indicating huge collaboration potential in various technical domains, added that COMSATS is facilitating the scientific community of its Member States for building capacities in various cross-cutting areas, including Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and robotics.
In connection with COMSATS’ recently established collaboration with the Alliance of International Science Organizations (ANSO), China, ITS was invited to submit proposals for collaborative research in the areas of environmental challenges, agriculture and food security, health and wellbeing, and green technology from the platform of COMSATS. Prof. Pramujati was appreciative of COMSATS’ programmes and initiatives and expressed keen interest in cooperating with COMSATS and its Network members in areas of mutual interest.
ITS’ delegation also called on His Excellency Mr. Iwan Suyudhie Amri, Ambassador of Indonesia to Pakistan. During the meeting, held at the Embassy of Indonesia in Islamabad, the Ambassador was apprised of the newly established relationship between COMSATS and ITS and the Institute’s potential cooperation with ICCBS and CUI.
On the occasion, Mr. Sultan briefed the Ambassador about COMSATS as an international/intergovernmental organization with its scientific and technical programmes in twenty-seven (27) countries of the South as COMSATS’ members. The Ambassador deemed COMSATS’ operations and its collaboration with ITS with appreciation.