Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA) and Pak-Austria Fachhochschule: Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology (PAF IAST) has officially announced the opening of Special Technology Zones (STZ) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan attended the ceremony at the Haripur-based PAF IAST campus, which was declared the first STZ in the province.
STZA awarded the first Zone Developer License in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to PAF-IAST and the second License to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Technology Board (KPITB) for Pakistan Digital City in Haripur. Both the PAF-IAST and KPITB are committed to the development of knowledge ecosystems, which will enable youth employment, opportunity creation, and economic transformation through the technology sector. The STZs will open avenues for the youth, foster new high-tech skills, and create opportunities for employment, business, entrepreneurship and international investors.
Chairman STZA, Amer Hashmi, who is overseeing the Authority’s mandate towards technology-driven knowledge ecosystems, also spoke at the ceremony and stressed on the key role that universities can play for technology transfer. He reinforced the human potential that is unleashed when ecosystem players come together and work towards the shared goals of technology-led growth and economic development.
PAF-IAST has established their own Technology Park to encourage the commercialization of research and to attract foreign direct investment to Pakistan. The university aims to facilitate interaction between the university and industry, and particularly with technology and R&D led companies. The university also offers skill-based training in emerging fields of Artificial Intelligence, Information Technology, and Biomedical Engineering.
KPITB, which was also awarded Zone Developer License, plans on establishing Digital City, for which the work is already initiated, to promote and jumpstart growth in the technology industry by bringing together various ecosystem players. KPITB intends to transfer the following technologies: i) High-tech manufacturing, ii) Quantum Computing, iii) Cybersecurity, iv) Artificial Intelligence, and v) Cyber Physical Systems.
Khyber Pukhtunkhwa is home to emerging technology companies and a burgeoning startup ecosystem. Hence, it offers promising opportunities for the youth in the technology sector. STZA is committed towards ensuring that the province continues to play a critical role in the technology-led growth of Pakistan.