Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has inaugurated the National Incubation Center (NIC) Quetta at the launch ceremony held at Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering & Management Sciences (BUITEMS) yesterday on 30th May. Anusha Rahman, Federal Minister for IT & Telecom was also present as the Guest of Honor.
A project worth PKR 560 million, NIC Quetta has been designed and funded by Ministry of Information Technology & Telecom (MoITT) and Ignite – National Technology Fund. The project is a collaboration between Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and BUITEMS. After NIC Lahore, this is the second project that LUMS has been involved as a lead bidder. NIC Lahore’s team led the design and curriculum for NIC Quetta, while BUITEMS is the implementing partner. The grant provided by Ignite will span five years, during which NIC Quetta will support hundreds of new startups.
Balochistan has its unique set of problems that can be solved by honing young talent to drive innovation and ingenuity to turn those problems into opportunities. This is the true spirit of entrepreneurship and thus NIC Quetta as a pro-innovation hun and business accelerator will provide a platform to budding entrepreneurs to demonstrate their talent and passion to solve the problems of the province and beyond. With its state-of-art facilities, NIC Quetta will develop startups to become an engine of social transformation and economic growth.
The Prime Minister referred the recently passed Digital Pakistan Policy and appreciated the performance of MoITT and key stakeholders for the accomplishment of NICs. Speaking at the ceremony, he said,
“National Incubation Centers in Peshawar, Karachi, and Lahore had been built and the government completed the journey that every provincial capital today had a NIC. This was much needed and today there is a quality NIC at all provincial headquarters.”
Talking about broadband connectivity, he added,
“Broadband connectivity is like an air and this connectivity should be everywhere. PKR 26 billion has been allocated to Balochistan for broadband connectivity and the province has more 3G connectivity than any other part of Pakistan.”
The Prime Minister also launched the DigiSkils Program, another initiative of Ignite in collaboration with Virtual University. The program will train one million people to be freelancers, entrepreneurs, and employees in the online job market.
In under one and a half years, MoITT and Ignite have successfully managed to operationalize five regional incubation centers across Pakistan in Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi. NIC Quetta marks the last of this initiative. Earlier this month, NIC Karachi was also inaugurated by the Prime Minister at NED University of Engineering & Technology.
Image Source: Ignite Twitter Account
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