Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunications Anusha Rehman Khan on Saturday inaugurated the National Incubation Center (NIC) at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).

Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr S. Sohail H. Naqvi, Ignite CEO Yusuf Hussain, NIC Lahore Director Faisal Jalil Sher Jan, renowned entrepreneur and LUMS Pro-Chancellor Syed Babar Ali, Fatima Ventures CEO Ali Mukhtar and 47 Ventures Investment Country Director Khurram Zafar attended the ceremony.

Addressing the ceremony, the minister said the launch of another National Incubation Center after Islamabad was a testament to the government’s resolve to bring a digital revolution in Pakistan.

This launch provides young entrepreneurs an opportunity to excel their business ambitions that are ready to make their mark on the world economy, Minister said, and added that the IT Ministry along with Ignite, LUMS and other consortium partners will make the dream of youth a reality.

She said the IT Ministry would make five incubation centers across the country and of those, two have been established. She said since 2013, IT Ministry has done a lot in the IT sector such as launch of 3G and 4G.

“During the last four years, we have spent around $400 million on connecting people living in far flung areas of the country. By December 2018, all the areas would have 3G which don’t have at the moment”, the minister said.

She shared that IT Ministry was ready to promote public-private partnership for better opportunities. Through the advancement of IT, e-medicine, e-learning and e-commerce were being promoted to improve learning for creating better earning opportunities. She announced to launch one million digital skills programmes from the Ignite Fund by January. By training one million youth online, we want to bridge the gap between academia and industry to make the degrees of youth dollar worthy, she added.

“I want to see Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg coming out from Pakistan after the 4th industrial revolution,” the minister said, adding, technology will be at the forefront of Pakistan’s economy in the coming years.

She said in Islamabad only, IT Ministry was providing computer training to over 100,000 school girls whereas such training was also being imparted to all the girls housing with Pakistan Bait-ul-Maal across the country.

Prof Dr Sohail said he was delighted at the launch of this state-of-the-art facility. “The establishment of NIC at LUMS is a tremendous milestone on a journey we at LUMS embarked on when the LUMS Center of Entrepreneurship (LCE) was established in 2014,” he said adding that it was LUMS that dared to set a vision to became the largest breeding ground of sustainable, high-growth commercial and high-impact social ventures in Pakistan.

Yusuf talked about the role of NICs in the knowledge economy of Pakistan and how these would become breeding grounds for sustainable growth and drive Pakistan’s economy forward with 4th Industrial wave technologies.

Sharing his thoughts, he said, “For corporations, this is a singular opportunity to transform and thrive in this age of global competition and change by partnering with and invest in start-ups that solve meaningful problems.”

He claimed that with the track record of its management team, makerspace, design lab, deep R&D resources, and organic VC linkages, NIC Lahore is poised to graduate true 10x start-ups and become one of the best incubators in Asia.

Faisal shared the vision and mission of NIC Lahore. He said NIC Lahore will house the first ever Makers Lab in Pakistan, a modern facility equipped with the latest technologies and smart equipment to bring ideas to life