COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI) has been collaborating with the University of Saarland (UdS), under the auspices of the European Union (EU)’s TAKE-UP Project since January 2020.
The TAKE-UP (Transforming Academic Knowledge to Develop Entrepreneurial Universities in Pakistan) project envisions establishing an entrepreneurial culture among the Pakistani universities, training their faculty members and students to inculcate self-employability skills through curricular activities. The project has effectively facilitated knowledge exchange, training of faculty, optimization of curricula, the establishment of business incubators, and a well-equipped Fabrication Laboratory (Fab Lab).
CUI has been vibrant in the promotion of Entrepreneurship as per directives of the Higher Education Commission (HEC), since 2012 when it established the Office of Research, Innovation & Commercialization (ORIC) for this purpose. The endeavours under ORIC, had enabled CUI in achieving the establishment of a Business Incubation Centre (BIC), and a Students Startup Business Centre (SSBC). The TAKE-UP project reinforced and strengthened the objectives and activities of ORIC and SSBC at the Lahore Campus of CUI. Among relevant endeavours, a worth mentioning achievement at CUI under this project has been the designing & optimisation of a course on entrepreneurship for enabling students towards idea generation, source identification of seed money for startups, knowing how to establish a company and how to spin it off after initial incubation. In addition, a comprehensive manual has also been developed for the Coaches/Trainers in which detailed instructions and materials have been provided as guidelines. Moreover, with the technical guidelines and support of Saarland University, the establishment a well-equipped Fab Lab is underway for the students of CUI to develop prototypes of their conceived models/ideas.
With the help of experts from Saarland University, an online course on Entrepreneurship was offered to the selected students of CUI Lahore Campus. The response from students was higher than expected. After attending the course, and motivated by the SSBC, students of Chemical Engineering took the initiative of conceiving an Industrial waste treatment process which is a successful outcome of the TAKE-UP project at such an initial stage.
Prasino Fertilizer Company is targeted to be a techno startup which idealizes to produce a bio-fertilizer product from waste of the industries, rather than draining or discarding the harmful waste into atmosphere. A group of chemical engineering students encouraged to contribute business plan under EU-TAKE Up project at CUI Lahore Campus contributed an idea to convert the waste of chemical industries into a bio fertilizer and launched it into market under proper trademark as an organic and eco-friendly substitute of conventional fertilizers like DAP (Diammonium Phosphate). Hazardous effects on environmental and human health and rising prices of DAP urge alternative fertilizers. This idea of turning industrial wastes into bio fertilizer is simple as it involves the collection of waste from concerned industries and blending it with chemicals to achieve desired product to agricultural sector. This idea has been effectively tested at laboratory scale in CUI’s labs and now being negotiated with certain industries for industry setup and production and commercialization.
Idea generation and prototyping are important aspects of entrepreneurship. Technical minds always look for a venue where the idea can be transformed into a prototype model. For this purpose and with the technical assistance of Saarland University a well-equipped “Fab Lab” is being established at Lahore Campus, so that students and faculty may develop prototypes of their conceived models/ideas. The Fab Lab will provide multidimensional facilities like 3D printing, 3D Scanning, CAD Software and a wide range of tools and gadgets.