NUST signs first intellectual property licencing agreement

ISLAMABAD: Setting a new precedent of technology transfer to industry, the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) has licensed two intellectual property rights (IPRs) to the industry, relating to fleshing and shaving blades used in Pakistan’s tanneries sector.

The licencing agreements were signed between NUST and M/s Shafi Reso Chemical (SRC), Lahore, in a special ceremony held at a local hotel. The inventor of the IPs belongs to NUST College of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Rawalpindi.

Besides NUST Rector Lt Gen (r) Naweed Zaman, and Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) president, over 50 industrialists from the region attended the ceremony. Dr Nassar Ikram, Pro-Rector Research, Innovation and Commercialisation (RIC), NUST, and Abrar Ahmed, CEO SRC, signed the agreement.

There are about 150 leather processing firms in Pakistan that spend nearly Rs 5 million each per year on the import of fleshing and shaving blades, making an annual market of Rs 750 million. In the absence of locally available quality blades, the leather manufacturers have no choice but to opt for the imported ones. Under the agreement, SRC will now manufacture these blades locally, thus offering quality indigenous blades at significantly reduced cost, leading to substantial savings in foreign exchange.

Speaking at the occasion, NUST rector highlighted the importance of university-industry linkages in advancing innovation and industrial research. He appreciated the support of industry and growing realisation of making these relations strong and fruitful for the society. In his remarks, SRC CEO lauded the professionalism of NUST team in the entire process from innovation to the technology transfer.

It merits mentioning here that the licencing agreement is the first-ever for any Pakistani university to transfer its intellectual property rights to the industry. NUST is also currently in talks with a few other companies to license out its other IPs having societal impact and are in a market-ready state.

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