I have been following the progress of the Pakistan startup scene with interest, and am continuously reminded of a research that was conducted on the behest of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan in 2004. This research was conducted by a consortium of private and public sector consultants with experience in technology commercialization and incubation in Pakistan. Unfortunately, this report has been put under the proverbial carpet for many years and it was never made public. Perhaps a citizen of Pakistan can apply for a freedom of information request and have it disclosed in full. I am releasing a part of the report here, with the hope that it can help those interested in setting up incubation centers in Pakistan.
The reason why I believe it is important for the general public to be made aware of what the recommendations were is that the private initiatives have been ignoring the importance of higher education research in the growth of the national economy. There is an element of truth in this, however, back in 2004, the research that was conducted showed that there are islands of excellence in research in Pakistan that can be brought into the national economy. Sadly, perhaps, one of the reasons why the report was never published was that the consortium felt that the incubators should be based in Faisalabad and Karachi, and not in other cities, as has become the fashion. Anyways, here are the recommendations and executive summary of Need Assessment