Habib University Crowned ‘Most Innovative University’ at 2nd National Innovation Awards

HU faculty initiative ‘Numaish Karachi’ also takes top honors in ‘Art+Design Innovation’ category

ISLAMABAD, December 8: Habib University (HU) has been crowned Pakistan’s most innovative university at the 2nd National Innovation Awards, hosted by the Pakistan Innovation Foundation (PIF) here at a private hotel. HU faculty initiative ‘Numaish Karachi’ also beat other nominees to take top honors in the Art+Design Innovation category at the same event.

The Most Innovative University Award was accepted by Dr. Nauman Naqvi, Director of the Liberal Core at HU, and Dr. Shahid Shaikh, Dean at HU’s School of Science & Engineering (SSE). While the Art+Design Innovation Award was accepted by Ms. Saima Zaidi, Assistant Professor for Communication Studies and Design at HU.

Habib University was awarded the title in recognition of its first-of-its-kind liberal arts model of education, which requires students from both the School of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences and the School of Science & Engineering to take courses in the humanities, social and natural sciences in order to develop as well-rounded individuals. Habib University had chosen this model to fulfill its commitment to the development of leadership potential and universality as an essential goal of a truly higher education.

HU had received a similar endorsement for its liberal arts model last year in an article published in the renowned science magazine, Nature. The article, authored by Dr. Nidhal Guessoum and Dr. Athar Osama for the October 29, 2015 issue of Nature, was a summary of the key results, conclusions and recommendations of an international task force of experts. Recommending the kind of broad, holistic education espoused by Habib University as the right approach to improving higher education in Pakistan and other Muslim societies, the authors had encouraged other universities in the Muslim world to follow suit.

Numaish Karachi – an interdisciplinary initiative of HU, ‘I Am Karachi,’ Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), and Ministry of Culture – had been nominated for the Art+Design Innovation award along with Burka Avengers, AZCORP Entertainment, SOC Films for 3 Bahadur, and Patari. Led by Ms. Saima Zaidi, other core team members involved in the project from Habib University include Dr. Saleha Raza, Assistant Professor for Computer Science (CS), Ifrah Jaffri, Research Assistant for Electrical Engineering, and Gulbadin Khan, Lab Assistant for CS.

The awards were part of the PIF-organized 3rd Annual Pakistan Innovation Forum 2016. They featured outstanding achievements from a range of different areas, including education, healthcare, government, corporate sector, social and civic sectors, industry, agri/rural businesses, art and design, financial technologies, startups, etc.

The conference, titled INNOVATORS OF TOMORROW, sought to showcase and promote individuals and institutions who had gone against the tide to innovate and build something from scratch, according to a press release issued by PIF. It featured an Innovation Showcase that brought together about 50 innovators from across the country to demonstrate their ideas and talents. Leaders from Pakistan’s corporate sector, government, and civil society were in attendance.

Speaking at the launch ceremony, Mr. Saad Amanullah Khan, Chairman of Pakistan Innovation Foundation, said: “One of the three main streams of our work is about recognizing and rewarding Pakistani Innovators. There are many exemplary things and we must recognize those innovators so that the hands of others are strengthened.”

“As Pakistan’s leading and only champion of Innovation, the National Innovation Awards is a way for PIF to do that,” he added.

Pakistan Innovation Foundation also launched new initiatives as part of the proceedings, including a pre-seed ideas accelerator, a national STEM school, and the Karachi Civic Innovation Lab that will address important gaps in Pakistan’s innovation eco-system.

The winners of the National Innovation Awards 2016 are:

a) Corporate Innovation: TCS (Winner), Telenor (Runnerup)

b) Education Innovation: British Council’s ILMPossible (Winner), Multinet’s meraSABAQ (Runnerup)

c) Health Innovation: Indus Hospital (Winner), doctHERS (Runnerup)

d) Government Innovation: BISP (Winner), PITB (Runnerup)

e) Agri+Rural: Telenor Kushhal Zamindar (Winner), Pakistan Agriculture Council’s Agri-Mandi (Runnerup)

f) Most Innovative University or Programme: Habib University (Winner), and School of Mechanical and Metalurgical Engineering (SMME-NUST) (Runnerup)

g) Finance/Fintech Innovation: UBL (Winner), INNOV8 (Runnerup)

h) Industrial Innovation: Forward Sports (Winner), SPEL Group (Runnerup)

i) Social/Development Innovation: Invest2Innovate (Winner), The Reading Room Project (Runnerup)

j) Civic Innovation: Aman Ambulances (Winner), Painting the Walls of Karachi (Runnerup)

k) Art+Design Innovation: Numaish Karachi (Winner), Patari (Runnerup)

l) Most Innovative Technology Startup: Zaheen Machines (Winner), Rozee.pk (Runnerup)

Three Special Awards were presented to:

People’s Choice Innovator of the Year Award: System Teknologies International AND PNEC-NUST Formula Electric Car (Tied)

Special Award for Young Innovative Talent: Usman Riaz, Senior TED Fellow and Creator of Sheesha Gar.

Special Lifetime Achievement Award for Innovation: Dr. Abdul Bari Khan, Founder of Indus Hospital Network, Philanthropist, and Changebearer.


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