In June 2015, the governments of Pakistan and the United States announced the launching of centers for advanced studies (CAS), which constitute partnerships between world-class Pakistani and U.S. universities dedicated to providing solutions for Pakistan’s energy, water, agriculture, and food security challenges. The program is funded by an investment of US $127M from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The CAS partnerships include links between the Pakistani National University of Science and Technology and Arizona State University to create two centers for energy research; the University of Jamshoro and the University of Utah to create a center for water; and the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad and the University of California, Davis to create a center for agriculture and food security.
As a component of the 5-year CAS initiative co-managed by the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF) and UC Davis, PIPRA is providing support in the form of capacity building programs in the areas of intellectual property (IP) management, technology transfer, and the formation of public-private partnerships.
In November 2015, PIPRA will convene a 2.5-day workshop on campus at UAF, focused on providing a sophisticated understanding of the role of IP management and technology transfer in academic research institutions, to promote agricultural innovation and regional economic development. It is anticipated that 40 technology transfer officers and scientific researchers from UAF will attend the workshop.
Additionally, PIPRA has created a month long internship program for key UAF technology transfer office staff. Through this internship, PIPRA will host UAF personnel at the organization’s offices at UC Davis for several weeks. During the course of the visit, UAF professionals will gain deeper knowledge about IP protection and management of intellectual assets, as well as about the structural and operational processes related to technology transfer activities undertaken by UC Davis.
Through its involvement in the CAS initiative, PIPRA hopes to help to enhance the impact of UAF’s research programs in Pakistan’s agricultural and economic development, as well as the capacities of its scientists in processes of agricultural and biotechnology innovation.