Global Experience in Policy and Program Development
Edited by Sarfraz A. Mian
Chapter 18: Pakistan: Facing the Challenge of Science and Technology Driven Entrepreneurial Take-off
Syed Zahoor Hassan INTRODUCTION The importance of science and technology (S&T) driven economic development has been appreciated by policy makers as well as entrepreneurs. It is widely believed that unless S&T developments lead to creation of new businesses or growth of existing ones, significant benefits cannot accrue to society. Hence different countries, in the developed as well as the developing world, have set up policies, frameworks, institutions and related mechanisms to leverage S&T as an engine of economic development through creation or growth of business enterprises. This entire ecosystem has come to be called the national innovation system (NIS). Given the dynamic nature of all the elements in this system, it is also important to analyze its evolution. Moreover, we know that the evolution process has worked at different rates in different countries. The case of South Asian countries presents a clear contrast – in India this system has evolved to a much higher level than in the other two big countries of the region, namely Pakistan and Bangladesh. The key questions that need to be addressed include: ● ● ● ● ● Why has the S&T based innovation system evolved slowly in countries like Pakistan as compared to India although they gained independence at the same time and had access to somewhat similar resources? Why have the developments in S&T driven innovations not created similar levels of entrepreneurial activity in all countries? What factors explain the rate of evolution in the whole ecosystem that includes S&T innovations and related...
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