Ignite entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Pakistan Innovation & Testing Centre (PITC), a department of Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC), for partnership and collaboration for the growth of entrepreneurs, researchers, industrialists, and academia in engineering innovation in Pakistan. The event was attended by Mr. Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, Federal Secretary of IT & Telecom, Mr. Asim Shahryar Husain, CEO Ignite, Engr. Dr. Nasir Mehmood Khan Registrar/Secretary, Brig. Tariq Javed (R), Advisor on Innovation and senior officials of the IT Ministry and Ignite. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, Federal Secretary of IT & Telecom expressed his pleasure to see Pakistan Innovation & Testing Center (PITC) and Ignite joining hands for innovation under their respective organizations i.e. PEC and Ministry of IT & Telecom. There is no denying the fact that we urgently need to jump start the economy and improve the business investment environment for our tech entrepreneurs. He further said that this collaboration will be in the best interest of our innovators, researchers, industrial and academicians who would be benefited by the massive opportunities emerging due to various initiatives of Ignite and PITC. NIC startups will now get access to these engineering labs for development and testing of engineering products. Ministry of IT has always supported its departments to reach out to relevant organizations who can add value to our innovation and startup ecosystem. Brig. Tariq Javed (R), Advisor on Innovation, said that Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) has been assigned the lead role for promoting innovative engineering products and local manufacturing of engineering goods, products and services. PEC has established PITC and is facilitating innovators, researchers and product designers to locally develop and manufacture engineering goods/products. PEC has coined a new term i.e. Researchers and Product Development(R&PD) instead of R&D only. The focus is on collaboration manufacturing and product design/ development which has an important aspect of integration between software and hardware. The Ignite and PITC collaboration is the first step which would result in an avalanche of further initiatives. Earlier in his welcome address, Mr. Asim Shahryar Husain, CEO Ignite stated that Ignite shall facilitate engineering students of PEC accredited institutions and recommended by PITC to apply to our network of 5 incubators through their innovative ideas and products. He said that we have been missing engineering-related equipment and facilities at our National Incubation Centers. So this partnership with PITC will help us in bridging this gap. This collaboration will enable our startups to carryout test and trials of their end products, have regulatory approval related help for their engineering goods, products and services including agri-products, robotics, virtual reality, etc. Ignite shall also provide web-based training and opportunities to engineering students, and professionals through its DigiSkills training platform to develop their skillset to grab new freelancing opportunities to enhance Pakistan’s freelancing exports.