H.E. Ms. Androulla Kaminara, Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan, visited COMSATS Secretariat on 20th February 2020. The visit was realized as a result of earlier discussions of Ambassador (R) Shahid Kamal (Advisor, Climate Change at COMSATS Secretariat), with Ms. Kaminara. Her Excellency was accompanied by Ms. Anne Marchal, Deputy Head of Mission at the European Union Delegation to Pakistan, for the meeting that was held in the presence of senior COMSATS’ officials.
Ms. Kaminara was acquainted with COMSATS’ international programmes and initiatives including COMSATS Centre for Climate and Sustainability (CCCS). It was informed that with the aim to promote research and innovation-led economic growth in its Member States, COMSATS aspires setting-up regional hubs in cutting-edge areas of science and technology. Dr. Zaidi also highlighted the role being played by COMSATS’ Centres of Excellence for the materialization of such projects. Taking note of this, Ms. Kaminara stated that strong academic linkages are at the core of such initiatives which also need a prominent place in a country’s policies. She considered capacity building of the scientists and technicians a key factor in this connection.
Ms. Kaminara considered programmes such as Horizon 2020 of European Union (EU) important for aiding S&T-related projects. She expressed interest to work with EU delegations of CCCS Network member states to help attract funding and generate sustainable solutions for addressing climate crisis.
Ambassador Kaminara informed that EU is currently collaborating with the National Vocational & Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC), Government of Pakistan, for conducting vocational trainings in the country. She also shared the details of EU’s Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) and Cofund programmes, from which COMSATS’ Member States can benefit. She informed that discussions are currently ongoing at EU Secretariat regarding next Horizon programme which will be launched soon. She further added that digitalization would be the focus of EU during the next five years.
Further during the meeting, Ambassador Shahid Kamal welcomed EU’s participation in the forthcoming General Meeting of COMSATS and Accra Forum on S&T for Sustainable Development.