From its humble beginnings in 1998 with barely a dozen faculty members and a couple of hundred students, COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI) is now among the top five large universities and the number one (1) Information Technology institute in the country! On the research forefront, CUI is number two (2)in the nation. CUI is dedicated to advancement of learning and extending the frontiers of knowledge. The Institute’s mission is threefold, i.e. Research and Discovery, Teaching and Learning, and Outreach and Public Service. Its mission supports and promotes knowledge creation in academically diverse disciplines and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people.

CUI’s mission meshes very well with its strategic aim of developing a knowledge economy benefitting socio-economic environment in the country. To fulfill this purpose, the “Office of Research, Innovation and Commercialization (ORIC) was established in 2011with the aim of linking university research directly with educational, social and economic priorities of CUI and its broader community. Its slogan is “Creating endless opportunities by transforming research into prosperity.”

The ORIC at CUI operates with the following Terms of Reference:

  • Enhancing research culture
  • Promoting inter/cross disciplinary research
  • Building university – industry linkages
  • Inculcating entrepreneurship among researchers
  • Generating intellectual property through research, innovation, and commercialization
  • Establishing technology/innovation/business parks
  • Catalyzing technology transfer through spin off companies and licensing
  • Augmenting capacity building of research/corporate community

In 2017, 2021 publications have been recorded in national/international journals by the faculty of CUI! During the same year, a total of 860 research projects and 210 travel grant applications were submitted to different funding agencies out of which 134 projects and 120 travel grant applications have been approved. ORIC also undertook diversification of CUI’s research portfolio by identifying and submitting research proposals to multi-faceted national and international funding agencies. A Guide to Research Grant Programs of National and International Funding Agencies was developed and distributed amongst CUI faculty and researchers.

In order to attract young faculty into the research mainstream, a CUI Research Grant Program (CRGP) is in place to award grants up to Rs. 300,000/- for research proposals of 1-2 years duration. In 2017, under this program, 63 research proposals were approved / released to the awardees. Currently, 62 research proposals are ready to be reviewed in the forthcoming CRGP meeting.

To encourage its faculty and promote quality research, CUI-Research Productivity Awards are an annual feature. A total of 1219 Research Productivity Awards (RPA) were conferred upon CUI scientists and researchers last year.

Around 360 PhD faculty members of CUI have been approved as PhD Supervisors by HEC thus facilitating research initiatives of CUI and its broader educational community.

As we move towards creating knowledge economy, developing an understanding of Intellectual Property Rights is of paramount importance in order to protect inventor’s rights and produce research that will fuel innovation and commercialization. CUI has developed in-house capacity to provide IP support to its researchers and file patent applications locally and internationally. So far, CUI filed 61 patents based on applied research of its faculty out of which 13 patents have been granted; furthermore two trademarks have been registered as will. CUI also provided trainings on understanding IP Rights and Patenting to researchers from many universities.

ORIC Research Management System (RMS)

This is a centralized electronic research database in which all types of data related to Research Projects, Travel Grants, Conferences, Workshops and Post-Doctoral Fellowships is saved. The aim of this software is to have a paperless environment, quick business processing and quick retrieval of data for preparation of different reports.
Any faculty member from any CUI campus will have online access to this database and will process their requests for Research Projects, Travel Grants, Conferences, Workshops and Post-Doctoral Fellowships by entering bibliographic data manually and uploading the supporting documents as attachments.

At CUI, earnest efforts are underway to bridge the academia-industry gap. One such initiative is the Pak-China Business Forum (PCBF) which has been established as an academia driven model of business cooperation. The Forum offers a unique opportunity for business-to-business match-making, attracting FDI from China, University-Industry collaboration, technology transfer and promotion of entrepreneurship amongst Pakistani talent. Prominent business houses from both countries, scholars/experts from different walks of life and general public participate in this Forum. The total attendance at the event was more than 80,000. In 2014, fourteen (14) MoUs were signed between different organizations.

ORIC-Professional Development (PD) is a flagship initiative of ORIC, CUI to cater the need of professional learning and growth for individuals and organizations across Pakistan. ORIC-PD supports faculty members in their ongoing quest for excellence in teaching, research, outreach and leadership. The program aims at developing faculty skills and networking to open up areas of applied research in collaboration with industry and practitioners. ORIC-PD has trained professionals from universities and well reputed organizations all across Pakistan, such as PSO, OGDCL, Fauji Fertilizer, Qarshi Industries, PEL, NTS, LUMS, PAEC, POF Wah, AKU, UET Peshawar, Attock Refinery, AERO, PIEAS, NARC, QAU, Wilson Pharmaceutical, MoST, etc.

CUI is encouraging start-up networks of young entrepreneurs to provide a positive impetuous to the economic growth of Pakistan. Incubation Centres are proving to be an important source of converting ideas into commercial products/services thus making significant economic and technological contributions to several nations across the globe. CUI has initiated development of a series of business/technology incubators named CUBATORs. So far 32 (thirty two) companies are Graduated from CUBATOR.

ORIC CUI crossed another success milestone by receiving the 1st FPCCI Achievement Award (Gold Medal) in the year 2013. The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry, the apex body of trade and industry of Pakistan, launched this award to honor the dedicated and enterprising organizations that that have made sustained and lasting contribution in socio-economic development of the country. CUI also acquired QS Star rating of three out of five.