With the startup and innovation revolution spinning the world in new directions, Pakistan is ready to catch up and play hard with the rest of the world. To this affect, in 2012, a group of highly spirited and ambitious men set up Pakistan Innovation Foundation to actively encourage scientific and entrepreneurial innovation in the country. After four years of commitment towards promoting scientific dialogue, PIF, in collaboration with Mobilink Business, launched the nation’s first Innovation Pavilion and Makers’ Showcase late in November to curious excitement. The event will be part of PIF’s Pakistan Innovation Forum 2015, and is set to attract native innovators (independent or part of institutions and companies) who will be expected to demonstrate their innovations.
The Showcase is the first of its kind in Pakistan. Individual builders, makers and creators will be presented with an opportunity to exhibit their talents on a national scale. This isn’t PIF’s first event to foster scientific growth, but it hopes that the Mobilink Innovation Pavilion and Makers’ Showcase will become a permanent fixture every year at their annual forum. If the ball rolls as expected, it should also encourage many more exhibitions across the country aimed specifically for inventors. Such fairs have been a historical part of Western economies since the Industrial Revolution, and are a tech tourism hotspots in countries like Japan and China. This makes Pakistan’s entry into the list critical at a global level. Moreover, it would help creators get in touch with customers (or financiers). It’s a boon in terms of showcasing talent, acquiring talent, meet fellow inventors, collaboration and simple recognition for work done well.
Key areas PIF has outlined for the exhibit are those considered the most important facets of holistic development, across various industries and sectors, in the Internet Age. Inventors are expected to present solutions in categories like mobile/Internet of Things, product/industrial design, gadgets and technology for everyday problems and locally relevant innovation (jugaad).
The first three days of December will have PIF and Mobilink rigorously audit applications in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore for due-diligence. The exhibit itself will take place on 9th December once exhibitors are selected from the three-day audition.
At the November launch of the Innovation Pavilion, Mr Saad Amanullah Khan, Chairman of PIF, said, ‘All “Living Nations” support their creative and innovative ones with eco-system and the capability to take their ideas forward. In Pakistan, this eco-system is in its very infancy and we need showcases and fairs like the one we’re planning to recognize the talent of our innovators and give them an opportunity to showcase and shine.’
At the end of the fair, PIF will award the People’s Choice Innovator of the Year Award to the best inventor – the start of what may, one expects, become a prestigious recognition and one among many goals for young aspirants.
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