Three of COMSATS’ Centres of Excellence have signed agreements for collaboration in a number of fields of science and technology in the presence of Prime Ministers of Pakistan and Sri Lanka, during the former’s visit to Colombo, Sri Lanka. The bilateral agreements were signed by the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI), Sri Lanka, the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Pakistan, and COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI), Pakistan, on 23rd February 2021. ITI was represented by its Director General, Dr. Radhika Samarasekera, while Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Maj. Gen. (R) Muhammad Saad Khattak, signed agreements on behalf of CUI and ICCBS.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between ITI-Sri Lanka and ICCBS-Pakistan would provide platform for cooperation in the areas of natural products/medicinal plant chemistry, food chemistry, biotechnology, nanotechnology, tropical disease research, and analytical services. Under the MoU, the parties would undertake academic and research cooperation in scholarships, fellowships, hands-on trainings on sophisticated equipment, joint supervision of students, conducting bi-institutional workshops, exchange of research scientists and faculty members, exchange of academic materials and publications, setting up of analytical service laboratories.
On the other hand, the Intent of Cooperation (IoC) signed between ITI-Sri Lanka and CUI-Pakistan would found basis for cooperation in education, research and capacity-building through joint training programs, conferences and seminars; joint academic and research activities; exchange of researchers, staff and faculty members; short-term and long-term fellowships; implementation of short-term training courses; publishing joint research journals; and sharing of scientific resources, among others.
The Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, opined that the signing of the afore-mentioned agreements would facilitate COMSATS’ Network of International S&T Centres of Excellence in achieving the organization’s mission of promoting South-South and Triangular cooperation for finding S&T-based solutions for sustainability-related issues in the Global South. These agreements would also bring COMSATS’ Member States – Pakistan and Sri Lanka – closer for mutually beneficial cooperation in science, technology and innovation.