Rationale – Pakistan Innovation Foundation //

PIF seeks to fill an important void in the emerging innovation-eco-system of Pakistan, namely, a passionate champion and advocate of innovation that brings the private sector closer to other key actors. It seeks to help organise and energise the private sector to invest in and benefit from innovation. As a private-sector driven entity it also seeks to use private-sector incentives, organisational flexibility, and performance-driven culture to create a track record of success.

Above all, PIF seeks to create a genuine national dialogue on science and innovation across the country involving key stakeholders across the sectoral divide – such as government, businesses, industry, and academia – as well as individuals, civil society actors, and political forces of all types and persuasions. Only through an extensive and structured dialogue could a “social contract” be established between the scientists-innovators and the citizens-taxpayers and Pakistan could develop a robust policy and culture for science and innovation and hope to transform itself – in due course – into a knowledge-innovation economy of the 21st century.

Realising the above aspirations will require the efforts of an impartial, methodical, and passionate national champion for innovation. PIF is being created to fill that void in the Pakistani society.

The PIF seeks to:

1. Develop and execute a programme of awareness activities aimed at highlighting successes and creating role models for promoting science, technology, and innovation in Pakistani society;
2. Become the lead champion and advocate for innovation through awareness building, agenda setting, and lobbying across government, academic, and private sectors;
3. Support and carry out a national programme of research and analysis to map innovative trends, identify gaps, undertake international benchmarking, and develop national best practices in Pakistani science and innovation landscape;
4. Raise private, public, and donor support for implementing its programmatic agenda by forging partnerships, bridging the “trust deficit”, creating credible execution capability, inspiring better performance from existing entities, and setting up thematic innovation centres and demonstration projects; and
5. Convene key stakeholders from private, public, and academic sectors through events, workshops, training programmes, and conferences to build capacity and create a shared vision for innovation within the country.

At the philosophical level, and over a 10-15 year timeframe, PIF seeks to do two things:

First, it seeks to transform the incentive structure within the Pakistani society such that the barometers of success in our society are not who you are and whom you know but how innovative and creative you are. This could have a radically empowering effect on the Pakistan society and shall transform Pakistan forever.

Second, it seeks to create and demonstrate an environment where innovation pays i.e. actively engage in opportunities for wealth creation that could be unlocked through innovation. Over the next 10-15 years, if PIF could contribute to an economic opportunity work half-a-trillion to a trillion rupees accessable only through innovation, it would have unlocked the challenge of creating a virtuous cycle of investment and return.

This will have a deeply transformative effect on Pakistan.