National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) in collaboration with Pak-Everbright Development Organisation (PEDO) held Technology for Inclusion Summit 2021 (TIS 2021), a first for the country, at the university’s main campus on 27th July, 2021. The prime objective of the Summit was to bring together and connect users, manufacturers, researchers and other relevant stakeholders in the domain of assistive technologies. The event also proffered an opportunity for NUST to closely engage with the industry and display its assistive technologies for potential deployment and commercialisation. Several stakeholders pertinent to the domains of assistive technologies like World Health Organization, Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP), International Red Cross, Chal Foundation, experts from health sector, public and social sector representatives working on disability rights, participated in the event.
Figure 1: Dr. Rizwan Riaz, Pro Rector, RIC, addressing on 1st Technology for Inclusion Summit 2021
In his welcome remarks, NUST Pro-Rector Research, Innovation & Commercialisation emphasised that the university takes its social responsibility very seriously and has aligned all of its core functions – from research, governance, and academics – with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Most significantly, he maintained, NUST has been proactively engaged in developing innovative technologies and devices to address the challenges of differently-abled people, adding NUST has successfully conducted several projects in the field of Biomedical Sciences, Neurosciences and Prosthetics, Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence. He further said that all these solutions have been indigenously developed by NUST researchers, which are cost effective and thus bringing such assistive devices within the purchasing power of common man.
Figure 2: Ms. Kanwal Shauzab, MNA & Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Planning, Development & Special Initiatives while praising efforts of
NUST in making assistive technology accessible to all
Ms. Kanwal Shauzab, MNA & Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Planning, Development & Special Initiatives, praised the event by appreciating efforts of NUST in organizing and bringing industry and users together under the umbrella of 1st Technology Inclusion Summit of Pakistan. She added that these extensive and informative sessions could help us in achieving the goal towards more sustainable, and inclusive Pakistan where we can empower and engage people without any discrimination.
Figure 3: Mr. Shahab-ud-Din, CEO, Pak Everbright Development Organization (PEDO), speaking about his life events and
how the life has challenged his through years
Mr. Shahab-ud-Din, CEO, Pak Everbright Development Organization (PEDO), enlightened the occasion with his lifelong struggle and difficulties being faced through-out due to disability. He mentioned that there is a need to develop indigenous cost-effective assistive technologies in Pakistan. In the end, he thanked NUST for organizing this summit and appreciated the efforts of NUST in making these devices accessible and convenient for the differently-abled communities in Pakistan.
Figure 4: Ms. Kanwal Shauzab visiting the stalls displayed at Technology for Inclusion Summit accompanied by Rector, NUST
The guests later visited the stalls where some of the NUST-developed assistive technologies were displayed at the occasion, including EKKO – Wave Therapeutic Device, Humanoid Robot Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Therapy System, RISE Intelligent Wheel Chair, Intelligent Prosthetic Hand, Myobionics Prosthetic Grippers, Recliner Bed, and many more.