Science and Technology Park is a space where dynamic and innovative tech activities are done in collaboration with government, academics, business, and community. Technology parks are one of the most effective entities that provide innovation in various sectors, regions, and economies. Due to intensive developments of economies of different countries, it is necessary to maintain a competitive edge which is quite difficult to do without technology and innovation. Measuring and Improving the Impact of IT Parks in Pakistan.
Technology parks are one of the most effective entities that provide innovation in various sectors, regions, and economies Science and Technology parks have long been in existence in the modern world. First Tech Park came into existence in the 1950s in the USA later on; the trend was followed by rest of the world as well. Today, many countries are building tech parks to promote technology diffusion among people.
Measuring and Improving the Impact of IT Parks in Pakistan
A technology park is more likely to be successful if it is founded in a region that has:
- A large, metropolitan, diverse and well established developed economy
- A strong research base
- A culture of entrepreneurship
- Stakeholders including a University or research Center that are actively engaged in championing and delivering resources to establish the STP
- Pro-active and entrepreneurial management
- Capital Ownership
- Efficient policy and bureaucracy
Economic Impact of IT Parks:
Successful economic developments today rely on the timely transfer of scientific developments into practical usage. Technology has a key role in the development of modern society.
With plenty of IT startups growing bigger every year via incubators, it’s clear that technology parks are more than just a commercial need
With plenty of IT startups growing bigger every year via incubators, it’s clear that technology parks are more than just a commercial need. They can offer small companies resources beyond their wildest dreams and ability to finance themselves. Such IT Parks create Jobs for plenty of youth which in turn has a positive impact on the economy of Country. Apart from job creation, these parks lead to the development of companies at regional and international levels.
The products and services developed in IT Parks are used by various sectors and industries hence, creating a decisive impact on the overall economy of the country
The products and services developed here are used by various sectors and industries hence, creating a decisive impact on the overall economy of the country. Technology parks often boast more established businesses offering start-ups access to more experienced players in the sector. The entrepreneurial and learning environment also improves the social culture and help in bringing stability to the country.
State of IT Parks in Pakistan:
The emergence of technology parks in Pakistan has created a lot of expectations that they will contribute to the industrialization. The government of Pakistan envisions becoming top 25 global economies with “Pakistan Vision 2025.” For the said purpose, Pakistani Government is geared up to establish IT parks in major cities of Pakistan, some of which are in collaboration with China as part of the historic CPEC initiative. Pakistan’s IT and Telecom sector has a lot of potential and it’s important to reap maximum dividend from tech sector and Chinese cooperation will definitely help the country to become a digital nation.
PSEB established 1st Science and technology park in 1999 in Islamabad. So far, twelve Technology Parks (TPs) have been established to provide IT enabled office space to assist the IT industry of the country to meet its immediate goals of increased FDI, technology transfer, increased exports, technology diffusion, increased employment, and human resource development.
Pakistani Government is geared up to establish IT parks in major cities of Pakistan, some of which are in collaboration with China as part of the historic CPEC initiative
At the time, over 800,000 sq. ft. IT-enabled office space has been provided in 12 designated Technology Parks where around 80 public and private IT / ITeS companies are engaged in software development and export services. Many top tiers IT companies in Pakistan are working in STPs instead of occupying space in traditional buildings due to the availability of latest ICT infrastructure and allied facilities along with favorable IT work environment.
Why are IT parks important for Pakistan?
IT parks are an important entity for any country; the world is digitizing and to keep up with international trends, we should also move towards digitization.
Many top tiers IT companies in Pakistan are working in STPs instead of occupying space in traditional buildings due to the availability of latest ICT infrastructure and facilities along with favorable IT work environment
Pakistan IT industry generates around 2 billion dollars each year for the country. Rapid investment is fueled by the growth of exports along with the government support and policies. Over 100,000 trained IT professionals in the country and an ever increasing number of specialized educational institutes are adding better-trained resources to an already vibrant job market. This ensures a talent pool of exceptional skills constantly available to the industry, while specialized low-cost facilities available and friendly policies ensure IT organizations a hassle-free setup and work environment.
Keeping this in view, Government of Pakistan needs to develop more IT parks as they can play a critical role in growth of software and IT sector. Technology developments due to these IT Parks will impact all industries including agriculture, education, governance, security, and commerce.
By incorporating IT parks in a country, the security situation will get better and will empower us to compete with international markets. Moreover, IT parks will encourage, promote and boost the IT & Software development and Exports. Through the development of IT parks in Pakistan, Government can entrust promotional services to exporters and at the same time, data communication services will be provided to IT related industries which will improve the socio-economic fabric of the country. IT and software parks will play a vital role in the development of Pakistan and will promote small and medium entrepreneurs by creating conducive environment for entrepreneurship in the field of IT/ITES.
The need for IT parks has arisen to comply with the tremendous unfulfilled demand for the expansion of IT companies. The existing buildings, like other retail space, do not address IT Enabled Office Space requirements such as uninterrupted year around operations, quality bandwidth, reliable power and security, accessibility, expandability and parking space.
The IT growth that has been witnessed in Pakistan over the years is quite phenomenal. Some factors are still impeding this growth and are a major hurdle in the development of Technology parks. Some of these factors include:
- Lack of infrastructure
- Lack of appropriate ICT policies
- Weak cooperation between industry and academia
- Insufficient research and development (R&D) investments
- Poor business environment
- Security issues
- Energy problems
The government will have to play a central role in overcoming these problems and building supportive business environment for local and international players
Once these problems are overcome, our industry’s growth will be accelerated many folds and reach its full potential. The government will have to play a central role in overcoming these problems and building supportive business environment for local and international players.