A delegation led by the Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. I.E. Qureshi, paid a visit to the Headquarters of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) in Trieste, Italy, in order to discuss ways and means of further strengthening technical cooperation between the two organizations. Apart from the Executive Director COMSATS, the delegation members included Rector, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Dr. S.M. Junaid Zaidi; Dean of Faculty of Sciences, CIIT, Dr. Arshad Saleem Bhatti; and Dean of Research, Innovation and Commercialization, CIIT, Prof. Raheel Qamar.
A presentation made by Dr. Qureshi on the organizational structure and programmes of COMSATS was attended by Prof. Romain Murenzi, Executive Director TWAS; Prof. M.H.A. Hassan, Treasurer TWAS; and Dr. Peter McGrath, In-charge TWAS Programmes. Dr. Qureshi emphasized the generic relationship of COMSATS and TWAS in being the brainchildren of Prof. Abdus Salam. The crucial role played by TWAS to help create COMSATS as an IGO and assistance provided to establish a network of S&T organizations in developing countries as its Centres of Excellence was recounted by Prof. M.H.A. Hassan. Prof. Murenzi was informed about a major initiative of COMSATS in the form of creating International Thematic Research Groups (ITRGs) with the aim of conducting high-quality collaborative research with participation of clusters of R&D organization. Prof. Murenzi appreciated COMSATS’ endeavours for the cause of South-South collaboration in S&T capacity-building and noted that TWAS and COMSATS have joined hands to prepare and disseminate booklets containing profiles of outstanding research organizations in the developing countries.
Prof. Murenzi further suggested that COMSATS may become TWAS’ partner in its new programme entitled ‘Science and Diplomacy’. Rector CIIT recalled the MoU signed between TWAS and CIIT in 2010 whereby TWAS fellows may opt for research and training at CIIT. It was considered desirable to extend the scope of this programme. Dr. McGrath was of the opinion that a number of existing TWAS’ programmes can be utilized by COMSATS in support of its ITRGs.
The Executive Director COMSATS presented his personal invitation letters to Executive Director TWAS as well as Prof. Hassan to participate in the COMSATS’ Ministerial-level Commission Meeting, to be held on 16-17 April 2012.