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Fault lines in deep-tech ecosystem

CriticalThought

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Thats not a rant but the truth from ground zero, everyone outside the Uniform candidature has suffered & is suffering. I have personally witnessed the talented lot, proud of what they do shedding tears because they were not allow to do what was necessary to counter modern threats.
Even after serving 7 years in the Force & laying down the foundation of something that was unknown to a certain organization, these people were simple told that the door was open for them to leave should they wish to, but their 'wishes' will not be entertained at the helms of top brass.

We have potential, we have the resources what we don't have is the vision at top. They are stuck in decades old mentality with no sight of coming out of that.

How to change that? well you can't change that with current lot, may be in next 1 decade when today's generation reaches the top, they might have a sense of expanding their horizon.
Come on, say it like it is. You have traitors sitting at the very top who are puppets of Western governments. The goal of America and its allies is a de-nuclearized Pakistan broken into 4 separate countries from which Madressahs have been eradicated and whose main industry is tourism. One of the first acts of Imran Khan's government was bringing transexuals into the mainstream. Add tourism to the mix and you get another Thailand near Arabian Sea. This is where the 'West' wants to see you, and their puppets in Pakistan will deliver this to them, knowingly or unknowingly.
 

FuturePAF

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I think you can extrapolate this across everything:

We have ample power and transport infrastructure, but it's underutilized.

We have a huge market, but we won't leverage it to impose a 75%+ value local-sourcing requirement on outside companies (e.g., CKD/SKD cars).

We have state-owned defence enterprises with unused or underused capacity, but we aren't leasing it to OEMs from abroad and/or Pakistani private sector.

So ... what's stopping natural market corrections?

Well, no matter the institution, it sounds like mediocre uncle types are the blockers. Be it fauji, politician, bureaucrat or whatever, they're all cut from the same cloth.

In the old days (think 100 years ago), society would have eventually thrown out such decision-makers.

Unfortunately today, the by-product of a globally connected world is that if your current country doesn't fit for you, you can move elsewhere.

And that's fine for the individual (heck, my family took advantage of it), but it also serves as a convenient way to diffuse the heat. So, for the crap stock in charge of Pakistan, the heat doesn't accumulate and transform into energy (e.g., systemic change) -- it dissipates and leaves (literally).

In this scenario, the crap stock aren't going to leave. So, if the 'middle layer' (i.e., engineers etc) are all gone, then who's left? It's the people, but they're either duped ("cPeC hai na?"), bought out (party workers), or just irrelevant to power dynamics (the poor).

Whatever's left is too few to make a difference, and in all likelihood, they're planning to leave Pakistan too.

Basically, the only hope for change is if someone from the status-quo grows a few brain cells and sees the opportunity (that real change across our economy, governance, industry base, etc) would bring, and instigates the change. One guy with killer instinct and an urge to become the King of the Hill (e.g., own equity in new multi-billion-dollar corporations, shape the country in his image, etc) is a compelling changemaker.

Unfortunately, that road can lead you to a Putin-type figure easily. What we want is societal change that results in strong institutions, deference to law and accountability, a killer instinct to compete with others, but balanced with a compassionate side towards one's own.
The mediocre uncles is a key fault in societies like ours. It was also part of the reasons for the downfall of the Ottoman Empire. Guilds that prevented the nation to produce competitively; quality and price. PM khan was right our economic future lies with China, but probably not in the way many people think. China is the most competitive country, and if we are to be competitive ourselves, we should be learning from their example, and reforming our management efforts.

Just like PIA’s reforms, people will lose jobs, but if the overall company is to have a chance at winning market share, they need to be strictly business. If it can sustain itself, it won’t be a burden on the nation, and that saved money can be put into other productive uses.
 

S A L M A N.

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Dr Sarah Qureshi | Masood Latif Qureshi

Published February 1, 2021
The high-tech startup industry in Pakistan is facing many challenges. Some of these challenges are because of government policies.

A case in point: we run a company, Aero Engine Craft Ltd, which is Pakistan’s first aerospace R&D startup that is developing environmentally safe contrail-free aircraft engines for the global aviation industry.

A deep-tech startup like ours needs infrastructure and it has to be grounded at a location. Unlike IT startups, they cannot relocate to the Silicon Valley in the acceleration phase. They need technical support from the tech ecosystem around them for innovative development.

In Pakistan, such clusters with huge capital-intensive, high-tech infrastructure reside within the government’s domain.

Although they are strategic in nature, they are underutilised and operating at a fraction of their capacity that is limited to defence maintenance.Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT), Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC), Pakistan Ordnance Factory (POF), Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), Precision Engineering Complex (PEC) and Technology Upgradation and Skill Development Company (TUSDEC) are a few example of strategically important, but commercially dormant organisations. They have a lot of wasted potential, although they are fairly equipped to support commercial spaces and the tech R&D industry.

Despite capacity, resource and massive infrastructure, there exists neither the incentive to work nor the procedures to support commercial technological development within these organisations. Similarly, some labs in academic institutions are also very well-equipped. But unfortunately, they do not have a commercial outlet for growth.
In developed countries, such high-tech industrial complexes have a strategic division and a parallel commercial division for growth. Organisations such as Rolls-Royce, Airbus and Boeing operate commercial and military wings and are multi-national entities in their own right.


In addition, deep-tech startups lack the funding and facility to import technology. As a result, they have to develop all technology in-house, which is an expense on their time and money. Secondly such startups cannot make heavy investments into infrastructure, such as precision machinery and equipment, as it is capital-intensive with spatial and temporal constraints. Unfortunately, there is no cluster of high-tech industry in the private sector that can support its elements.
For all the above reasons, venture capitalists and private investors lack confidence to invest in tech-intense startups.
Firstly, they want quick returns. Secondly, they know that no technical support exists to build up the technologies to scale and mass produce. In other countries, startups trying to make supersonic commercial planes have raised around $100 million from venture capitalists.

Thirdly, government research grants in Pakistan mostly support core research, which will be applied in the next century. The focus is on seed research. It has its own importance, but is limited to an academic environment. Therefore, it is not the suitable breeding ground for high-speed commercial growth. You can plant a seed of invention in a research environment and grow a sapling, but you cannot grow a forest. It requires full-time dedication and commitment — and a lot of speed.
The open-source research produced by Pakistani academics and scientists in this realm is used by other countries to make commercial products — for example, drugs, batteries, solar cells etc. — as well as financial profits. Whereas in Pakistan, we glorify ourselves by publishing research in high-impact factor journals only and that is where it ends.

This is due to a lack of funding and vision for product-based tech startups in our entrepreneurial landscape.
Some government organisations want to support IT-based platforms only whereas technology is a wrap-up in this day and age. You cannot determine where one tech domain ends and the other begins — so it is a rather unfair argument. There is no priority set to fund applied impactful research that can be commercialised. Unless we cash in on our institutional research by funding technology startups as a priority, our entrepreneurial landscape is bound to stay barren.
Institutional research is only one-third of the work on the road to commercialisation — and that too on a logarithmic trajectory.

Dr Qureshi is CEO and Mr Qureshi os CTO of Aero Engine Craft Ltd



The bold above has become such a common theme/opinion of so many in Pakistan working in this field that I really do wonder how can our babus be so deaf/dheeth? They are actively stunting the growth of Pakistan's defence industries that have so much potential. I don't know what else to do besides "creating awareness" lol.

@Goenitz @M.AsfandYar Article by Sir Omer's sister and father.

@Bilal Khan (Quwa) @kursed @SQ8 @PanzerKiel @S A L M A N.


On a related note, here's a personal anecdote:
When I graduated in Pakistan I could very easily spot talented engineers in my batch and batches before and after mine. These were maybe 5-10% of the entire class. A lot of this "cream" went into our SPD systems. I was recently thinking about this and almost a decade later here's what I see now: EVERY ONE of those people has either left, or actively working towards leaving because their talent/desire to do something is seen as a threat to the fat cats on top. They have been hounded by inquiries and blocking of promotions. The only people I have seen stay are those that were mediocre at best and for lack of a better word "spineless". If you think Maryam Nawaz is anti-fauj, you should talk to one of these SPD officers hounded by fauji uncles. And the sad part is that these people are often army brats and were the most pro-fauj people ever. Just breaks my heart that we take our best, break them, and push them out. I have not met a SINGLE of my SPD colleagues who said that I should come back to Pakistan, they tell me stay the hell away. This just breaks my heart in so many ways because of who I am as a person and what I've grown up dreaming about and working towards. Rant over.
Thank you @JamD for tagging me.

I still haven't graduated yet, but I've had my first (and I hope to God its the last) taste of these fauji uncle/sitting-on-their-butt/darbari types - 1) by studying at a military college 2) by working on some aspects of some of the projects that Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi proudly mentioned.

The one positive point I take away from your anecdote:
That top 5-10% of an engineering class (from NUST, GIKI, AU, LUMS, etc) still exists and is still as good as it ever was. So we haven't stopped producing good (perhaps even great) minds - although at the rate we have squandered the skills, talents and genius of our youth, we should have stopped long ago.

It took a lot of self-coaxing for me to actually write here because 1) it pains me a lot when I read everything that you all have written and 2) some part of that idealist in me has started to die.



I think you can extrapolate this across everything:

We have ample power and transport infrastructure, but it's underutilized.

We have a huge market, but we won't leverage it to impose a 75%+ value local-sourcing requirement on outside companies (e.g., CKD/SKD cars).

We have state-owned defence enterprises with unused or underused capacity, but we aren't leasing it to OEMs from abroad and/or Pakistani private sector.

So ... what's stopping natural market corrections?

Well, no matter the institution, it sounds like mediocre uncle types are the blockers. Be it fauji, politician, bureaucrat or whatever, they're all cut from the same cloth.

In the old days (think 100 years ago), society would have eventually thrown out such decision-makers.

Unfortunately today, the by-product of a globally connected world is that if your current country doesn't fit for you, you can move elsewhere.

And that's fine for the individual (heck, my family took advantage of it), but it also serves as a convenient way to diffuse the heat. So, for the crap stock in charge of Pakistan, the heat doesn't accumulate and transform into energy (e.g., systemic change) -- it dissipates and leaves (literally).

In this scenario, the crap stock aren't going to leave. So, if the 'middle layer' (i.e., engineers etc) are all gone, then who's left? It's the people, but they're either duped ("cPeC hai na?"), bought out (party workers), or just irrelevant to power dynamics (the poor).

Whatever's left is too few to make a difference, and in all likelihood, they're planning to leave Pakistan too.

Basically, the only hope for change is if someone from the status-quo grows a few brain cells and sees the opportunity (that real change across our economy, governance, industry base, etc) would bring, and instigates the change. One guy with killer instinct and an urge to become the King of the Hill (e.g., own equity in new multi-billion-dollar corporations, shape the country in his image, etc) is a compelling changemaker.

Unfortunately, that road can lead you to a Putin-type figure easily. What we want is societal change that results in strong institutions, deference to law and accountability, a killer instinct to compete with others, but balanced with a compassionate side towards one's own.
@JamD it's not luck, but the mentality. We haven't (as a leadership or a society) elevated our thinking.

And I'm not talking about intelligence or smarts, but rather, the mindset driving decisions and next steps. If you coach a 12 year old long enough to value independence and 'Made in Pakistan,' that will shape how they think about everything else.
Personal anecdote:
My grandfather worked at Pakistan's first (and perhaps only) electric lamp manufacturing company - Hyesons (aka Electric Lamp Manufacturers of Pakistan) from 1949 till the late 70s. He used to tell me stories of an age when a newly born, self-confident nation strived for excellence, when transfer-of-technology actually meant something, when a Pakistani company could build products of such high quality that my house in Karachi still has 5 operational 100W bulbs which were manufactured in the late 70s. Infact, I used two of these bulbs to test an energy meter for a project in my power electronics course in 2020. As a curious 10 year old I used to ask him as to what went wrong. And he replied, 'Upar ke log kharab hogaye hain' (The people at the top have become insincere/corrupted).

Hate to do it, but I do agree. I wonder what will give first: Pakistan or these people.
These people aren't going anywhere, so my bet's on Pakistan.
Unless the ground shakes beneath their feet hard enough to make them fall.

One of 3 things:

Scenario 1: things are going to sink, albeit slowly.

Scenario 2: we give birth to a Putin-type figure who'll reform the system where things improve to a degree, but will set institutional development back like 50 to 100 years guaranteed.

Scenario 3: moral and intellectual enlightenment strikes the ones in charge, and they work towards change for the better.

Everyone on Scenario 3:

View attachment 719299
I can actually hope for Scenario 3 a little more than for 1 and 2. But maybe I'm just too young.

Agreed. That was my opinion formed from feedback from at least 4 organizations.

Solutions: I spend days thinking about this but I haven't come up with solutions. The only thing that can fix this is the goodness of hearts of those at the top because they are happy and handsomely compensated so they have no monetary incentive to rock the boat. Now "goodness of heart" is in short supply in Pakistan since we are in general a people that like shortcuts and unfair advantages. Doesn't make me happy saying that, it breaks my heart, but its the truth, unfortunately. So the chances of anything changing for the better are slim. We make fun of Indian organizations today but it is clear as day to any neutral observer that they are going upwards and we are going down the drain. I fear for the strategic imbalance that will exist in maybe 10 years from now, when our strat orgs have become basically like PIA and Steel Mill.
What stops this scenario from playing out:
1. All the forward-thinkers have left already or will eventually leave so the people reaching the top in 10 years will be the same sitting-on-their-butt types.
2. To get to the top you really need to become one of these types of people.
3. The monetary incentives at the top mean that whoever eventually comes here will do more of the same - there is no incentive for the org to perform better (unlike a pvt entity). You get your salary and perks regardless of what you do.

But you did qualify your hope with a "maybe" so I'm sure the above isn't news to you.

A related anecdote: a guy (member) who gave his entire life to an organization and was responsible for one of the things that org is known for, was expected to become the chairman. This guy sacrificed a lucrative foreign career to serve Pakistan his entire life and was about to reach the top post. Then a serving Major General with a BS degree was made chairman. This guy resigned and rank and file of the organization were shocked and disheartened. There was a witch-hunt against everyone who had worked under and supported this guy to teach them a lesson for trying to rock the boat (for the betterment of this org and Pakistan). So many people (very close to me as well) left that org after this single incident. This is the kind of effect this kind of stuff has on morale.

Crap like this is happening regularly. I would cry if I hadn't become so apathetic.
The JF-17 Block-III, Azm NGAF, Shaheen-III and Ababeel are not going to save us.

We are looking at an impending disaster. The average level of competence and professionalism across all professions and across all sectors of the economy is falling. Morale, capabilities and just plain genius is atrophying across the board and there's nothing in the way to stop this bleeding. 'Brain-drain' doesn't even describe what is happening. Forget about Pakistani professionals running abroad - not everyone has the opportunity/resources for that - there are Pakistanis doing great work in the private sector but for some high-powered MNC which stashes its profits abroad.

We have succeeded in creating a situation where the idealists, dreamers, livewires, changemakers are too afraid to come forward, where they are hounded and hunted, treated like criminals by some pathetic sentry at the entrance of some 'strategic' organization. There's probably no statistical measure for this atrophy, but you can see it.

Just to push you in the right direction:
A pilot ignores landing instructions from the control tower and belly lands an aircraft at an extremely steep angle of descent. He then takes off again and makes a second attempt - killing 97 people in the process, including himself. The organization was PIA. But what's stopping an NPP operator from suffering from the same abject lack of professionalism? Can we trust the PAEC to run our NPPs safely just as we can trust the PIA to get us from LHR to KHI safely?​
Has anyone seen PIA pilots? They're OLD. Experienced, but OLD. You don't see pilots like that anywhere. These guys are ancient. And they have the toxic uncle mentality. They don't LET new guys come in, and if some young innocent idealist wanders in, they BREAK him.​
I hope you get the point I'm trying to make.


China's 'Gang of Four' might be the closest anecdote to our situation. Basically, you need one strong faction within Pakistan to overpower and remove the status-quo. This is not coup-level stuff, but actually a systemic change from within the structure. As I said earlier, enlightenment needs to strike the minds of a few powerful and entrenched men to make real change happen. We literally don't have any other worldly hope.

1. Pakistanis are extremely susceptible to becoming absolutely corrupted by absolute power.
2. In Pakistan, 'enlightenment' only strikes you if the 'establishment' wants it to.
3. We all know who the few powerful and entrenched men actually are

In short, to sum it up:

I have the pleasure to inform you gentlemen, we stand at the threshold of the night of eternal darkness. There is time to turn back, but not for long.
 

JamD

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The one positive point I take away from your anecdote:
That top 5-10% of an engineering class (from NUST, GIKI, AU, LUMS, etc) still exists and is still as good as it ever was. So we haven't stopped producing good (perhaps even great) minds - although at the rate we have squandered the skills, talents and genius of our youth, we should have stopped long ago.
With a population so large I think it's a statistical certainty that we will produce/bring forward bright people. Of course Pakistan has no place for them once they graduate. So Pakistani money produces human resource for high-tech industry abroad. I'm sure places like Turkey and GCC states are seeing this untapped potential. They are and will probably continue to pick up our brightest because we push them away anyway. What a waste.



It took a lot of self-coaxing for me to actually write here because 1) it pains me a lot when I read everything that you all have written and 2) some part of that idealist in me has started to die.
Honestly, reminds me of myself. 10 years ago I (and most of my colleagues) were full of enthusiasm but each day the idealism dies a little more. I actually saw @SQ8's journey from idealism to realism and used to think to myself, "that won't happen to me". But it did. I hope it doesn't happen to you, but odds are, it will.


The JF-17 Block-III, Azm NGAF, Shaheen-III and Ababeel are not going to save us.

We are looking at an impending disaster. The average level of competence and professionalism across all professions and across all sectors of the economy is falling. Morale, capabilities and just plain genius is atrophying across the board and there's nothing in the way to stop this bleeding. 'Brain-drain' doesn't even describe what is happening. Forget about Pakistani professionals running abroad - not everyone has the opportunity/resources for that - there are Pakistanis doing great work in the private sector but for some high-powered MNC which stashes its profits abroad.

We have succeeded in creating a situation where the idealists, dreamers, livewires, changemakers are too afraid to come forward, where they are hounded and hunted, treated like criminals by some pathetic sentry at the entrance of some 'strategic' organization. There's probably no statistical measure for this atrophy, but you can see it.

Just to push you in the right direction:
A pilot ignores landing instructions from the control tower and belly lands an aircraft at an extremely steep angle of descent. He then takes off again and makes a second attempt - killing 97 people in the process, including himself. The organization was PIA. But what's stopping an NPP operator from suffering from the same abject lack of professionalism? Can we trust the PAEC to run our NPPs safely just as we can trust the PIA to get us from LHR to KHI safely?

Has anyone seen PIA pilots? They're OLD. Experienced, but OLD. You don't see pilots like that anywhere. These guys are ancient. And they have the toxic uncle mentality. They don't LET new guys come in, and if some young innocent idealist wanders in, they BREAK him.
Agreed. We see this across the board.


I have the pleasure to inform you gentlemen, we stand at the threshold of the night of eternal darkness. There is time to turn back, but not for long.
I just like to think of these threads as group therapy sessions for us so that we can accept our fate.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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Thank you @JamD for tagging me.

I still haven't graduated yet, but I've had my first (and I hope to God its the last) taste of these fauji uncle/sitting-on-their-butt/darbari types - 1) by studying at a military college 2) by working on some aspects of some of the projects that Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi proudly mentioned.

The one positive point I take away from your anecdote:
That top 5-10% of an engineering class (from NUST, GIKI, AU, LUMS, etc) still exists and is still as good as it ever was. So we haven't stopped producing good (perhaps even great) minds - although at the rate we have squandered the skills, talents and genius of our youth, we should have stopped long ago.

It took a lot of self-coaxing for me to actually write here because 1) it pains me a lot when I read everything that you all have written and 2) some part of that idealist in me has started to die.






Personal anecdote:
My grandfather worked at Pakistan's first (and perhaps only) electric lamp manufacturing company - Hyesons (aka Electric Lamp Manufacturers of Pakistan) from 1949 till the late 70s. He used to tell me stories of an age when a newly born, self-confident nation strived for excellence, when transfer-of-technology actually meant something, when a Pakistani company could build products of such high quality that my house in Karachi still has 5 operational 100W bulbs which were manufactured in the late 70s. Infact, I used two of these bulbs to test an energy meter for a project in my power electronics course in 2020. As a curious 10 year old I used to ask him as to what went wrong. And he replied, 'Upar ke log kharab hogaye hain' (The people at the top have become insincere/corrupted).



These people aren't going anywhere, so my bet's on Pakistan.
Unless the ground shakes beneath their feet hard enough to make them fall.



I can actually hope for Scenario 3 a little more than for 1 and 2. But maybe I'm just too young.





The JF-17 Block-III, Azm NGAF, Shaheen-III and Ababeel are not going to save us.

We are looking at an impending disaster. The average level of competence and professionalism across all professions and across all sectors of the economy is falling. Morale, capabilities and just plain genius is atrophying across the board and there's nothing in the way to stop this bleeding. 'Brain-drain' doesn't even describe what is happening. Forget about Pakistani professionals running abroad - not everyone has the opportunity/resources for that - there are Pakistanis doing great work in the private sector but for some high-powered MNC which stashes its profits abroad.

We have succeeded in creating a situation where the idealists, dreamers, livewires, changemakers are too afraid to come forward, where they are hounded and hunted, treated like criminals by some pathetic sentry at the entrance of some 'strategic' organization. There's probably no statistical measure for this atrophy, but you can see it.

Just to push you in the right direction:
A pilot ignores landing instructions from the control tower and belly lands an aircraft at an extremely steep angle of descent. He then takes off again and makes a second attempt - killing 97 people in the process, including himself. The organization was PIA. But what's stopping an NPP operator from suffering from the same abject lack of professionalism? Can we trust the PAEC to run our NPPs safely just as we can trust the PIA to get us from LHR to KHI safely?​
Has anyone seen PIA pilots? They're OLD. Experienced, but OLD. You don't see pilots like that anywhere. These guys are ancient. And they have the toxic uncle mentality. They don't LET new guys come in, and if some young innocent idealist wanders in, they BREAK him.​
I hope you get the point I'm trying to make.




1. Pakistanis are extremely susceptible to becoming absolutely corrupted by absolute power.
2. In Pakistan, 'enlightenment' only strikes you if the 'establishment' wants it to.
3. We all know who the few powerful and entrenched men actually are

In short, to sum it up:

I have the pleasure to inform you gentlemen, we stand at the threshold of the night of eternal darkness. There is time to turn back, but not for long.
....well...everyone try your best on Laylat-al-Qadr...

I guess all we can do is raise awareness and hope that it directs some enlightenment into the mind of uncles with good hearts.
 

JamD

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....well...everyone try your best on Laylat-al-Qadr...

I guess all we can do is raise awareness and hope that it directs some enlightenment into the mind of uncles with good hearts.
Well for starters an article shared from the Pakistani Defence facebook page can go a long way in shaping public opinion about this. That page has 8 million+ likes and is one of the most popular pages in Pakistan. I wonder who can write such an article. Perhaps someone who's name starts with a B and ends with an ilal Khan lol.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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Well for starters an article shared from the Pakistani Defence facebook page can go a long way in shaping public opinion about this. That page has 8 million+ likes and is one of the most popular pages in Pakistan. I wonder who can write such an article. Perhaps someone who's name starts with a B and ends with an ilal Khan lol.
Bilal Khan 777?
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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@JamD to be honest, such an article would be both an open letter and a editorial.

For this article to really "hit home" -- especially with the wider public -- I also need quotes from engineers who have dealt and/or are dealing with the status-quo.

I'd say ... 20-30 different quotes at a minimum with people calling out all sorts of examples and issues. For this to 'click' with Pakistani readers, they'll need lots of voices they can relate to -- I think an article of this nature would draw views from dozens of engineers (especially in the expatriate community), both critical and supportive.

The quotes would need to build into 2 main points of discussion:

1. why the status-quo is bad (e.g., it's not just killing our R&D, but in a macro-sense, the same attitude and thought is killing the whole country, albeit slowly). We should emphasize that this isn't natural, much less welcome, and that we as a nation ought to stop it while we have a chance (and that chance is slipping fast).

2. the solution / roadmap. This basically has to be a clear call to the ones with power to make the difficult (or even risky) decision to trigger real change. However, we can end it with an optimistic view of what Pakistan can look like and, in turn, link it to some patriotic sense or feeling (e.g., make us economically prosper, militarily strong, and imbue nationwide pride in sciences and engineering, etc).
 

S A L M A N.

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Well for starters an article shared from the Pakistani Defence facebook page can go a long way in shaping public opinion about this. That page has 8 million+ likes and is one of the most popular pages in Pakistan. I wonder who can write such an article. Perhaps someone who's name starts with a B and ends with an ilal Khan lol.
Agreed. No one else.
@JamD to be honest, such an article would be both an open letter and a editorial.

For this article to really "hit home" -- especially with the wider public -- I also need quotes from engineers who have dealt and/or are dealing with the status-quo.

I'd say ... 20-30 different quotes at a minimum with people calling out all sorts of examples and issues. For this to 'click' with Pakistani readers, they'll need lots of voices they can relate to -- I think an article of this nature would draw views from dozens of engineers (especially in the expatriate community), both critical and supportive.

The quotes would need to build into 2 main points of discussion:

1. why the status-quo is bad (e.g., it's not just killing our R&D, but in a macro-sense, the same attitude and thought is killing the whole country, albeit slowly). We should emphasize that this isn't natural, much less welcome, and that we as a nation ought to stop it while we have a chance (and that chance is slipping fast).

2. the solution / roadmap. This basically has to be a clear call to the ones with power to make the difficult (or even risky) decision to trigger real change. However, we can end it with an optimistic view of what Pakistan can look like and, in turn, link it to some patriotic sense or feeling (e.g., make us economically prosper, militarily strong, and imbue nationwide pride in sciences and engineering, etc).
A start should be made on this I think.

'The lowest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.'

I like to think that we forward-thinkers (if I can dare to call myself that) have a responsibility to saying what must be said and what few are ready to say. The wider world has learned to conveniently ignore truths even as they stand tall and proud before them.

Let us fail while daring greatly.
 

JamD

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@JamD to be honest, such an article would be both an open letter and a editorial.

For this article to really "hit home" -- especially with the wider public -- I also need quotes from engineers who have dealt and/or are dealing with the status-quo.

I'd say ... 20-30 different quotes at a minimum with people calling out all sorts of examples and issues. For this to 'click' with Pakistani readers, they'll need lots of voices they can relate to -- I think an article of this nature would draw views from dozens of engineers (especially in the expatriate community), both critical and supportive.
I can get many but nobody will put their name on it. But I guess that would be okay. Let me work on that.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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I can get many but nobody will put their name on it. But I guess that would be okay. Let me work on that.
If this issue is as widespread as we think it is, then we don't need names. With enough anecdotal accounts, we'll easily get ex-engineers abroad to endorse it on social media.
 

Falcon26

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Fault lines in deep-tech ecosystem

The high-tech startup industry in Pakistan is facing many challenges. Some of these challenges are because of government policies.

A case in point: we run a company, Aero Engine Craft Ltd, which is Pakistan’s first aerospace R&D startup that is developing environmentally safe contrail-free aircraft engines for the global aviation industry.

A deep-tech startup like ours needs infrastructure and it has to be grounded at a location. Unlike IT startups, they cannot relocate to the Silicon Valley in the acceleration phase. They need technical support from the tech ecosystem around them for innovative development.

In Pakistan, such clusters with huge capital-intensive, high-tech infrastructure reside within the government’s domain.

Although they are strategic in nature, they are underutilised and operating at a fraction of their capacity that is limited to defence maintenance.

Heavy Industries Taxila, Heavy Mechanical Complex, Pakistan Ordnance Factory, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and Precision Engineering Complex are strategically important, but commercially dormant organisations. They have a lot of wasted potential, although they are fairly equipped to support commercial spaces and the R&D industry
Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT), Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC), Pakistan Ordnance Factory (POF), Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), Precision Engineering Complex (PEC) and Technology Upgradation and Skill Development Company (TUSDEC) are a few example of strategically important, but commercially dormant organisations. They have a lot of wasted potential, although they are fairly equipped to support commercial spaces and the tech R&D industry.

Despite capacity, resource and massive infrastructure, there exists neither the incentive to work nor the procedures to support commercial technological development within these organisations. Similarly, some labs in academic institutions are also very well-equipped. But unfortunately, they do not have a commercial outlet for growth.

In developed countries, such high-tech industrial complexes have a strategic division and a parallel commercial division for growth. Organisations such as Rolls-Royce, Airbus and Boeing operate commercial and military wings and are multi-national entities in their own right.

In addition, deep-tech startups lack the funding and facility to import technology. As a result, they have to develop all technology in-house, which is an expense on their time and money. Secondly such startups cannot make heavy investments into infrastructure, such as precision machinery and equipment, as it is capital-intensive with spatial and temporal constraints. Unfortunately, there is no cluster of high-tech industry in the private sector that can support its elements.

For all the above reasons, venture capitalists and private investors lack confidence to invest in tech-intense startups.

Firstly, they want quick returns. Secondly, they know that no technical support exists to build up the technologies to scale and mass produce. In other countries, startups trying to make supersonic commercial planes have raised around $100 million from venture capitalists.

Thirdly, government research grants in Pakistan mostly support core research, which will be applied in the next century. The focus is on seed research. It has its own importance, but is limited to an academic environment. Therefore, it is not the suitable breeding ground for high-speed commercial growth. You can plant a seed of invention in a research environment and grow a sapling, but you cannot grow a forest. It requires full-time dedication and commitment — and a lot of speed.

The open-source research produced by Pakistani academics and scientists in this realm is used by other countries to make commercial products — for example, drugs, batteries, solar cells etc. — as well as financial profits. Whereas in Pakistan, we glorify ourselves by publishing research in high-impact factor journals only and that is where it ends.

This is due to a lack of funding and vision for product-based tech startups in our entrepreneurial landscape.

Some government organisations want to support IT-based platforms only whereas technology is a wrap-up in this day and age. You cannot determine where one tech domain ends and the other begins — so it is a rather unfair argument. There is no priority set to fund applied impactful research that can be commercialised. Unless we cash in on our institutional research by funding technology startups as a priority, our entrepreneurial landscape is bound to stay barren.

Institutional research is only one-third of the work on the road to commercialisation — and that too on a logarithmic trajectory.

Dr Qureshi is CEO and Mr Qureshi os CTO of Aero Engine Craft Ltd

@Bilal Khan (Quwa) @waz
 

S.Y.A

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Then a serving Major General with a BS degree was made chairman.
this is the main issue. even the current chairman of nescom is in this position because of his father's connections (mubarakmand). similar to what you have said, i have seen many profs of nust who used to work for SPD orgs, and finally resigned when they had enough, and went abroad for MS/PhD, even worked for companies like intel, verizon and keysight etc.
If this issue is as widespread as we think it is, then we don't need names. With enough anecdotal accounts, we'll easily get ex-engineers abroad to endorse it on social media.
...and then those that are being quoted will be targeted. what makes you think that they will go public with this?
 

HaMoTZeMaS

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i can feel myself crying on reading you all.. This reading bring back the past feelings of bringing change to the nation
 

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