Entrepreneurial Scientists Needed in Pakistan

By   August 15, 2017

Entrepreneurial Scientists Needed in Pakistan

The entrepreneurial scientist is the new hybrid breed of the researchers who believe in serving society along with academia (Jain, George, & Maltarich, 2009). The country like Pakistan is in a serious need of such scientists and researchers. Pakistan through HEC has achieved great milestones of building research capacity in Pakistan. This capacity constitutes two aspects as setting up labs and laboratories in the universities and training human resources in the form of PhDs. Now Pakistan needs a shift towards entrepreneurial science by enabling faculty and universities to produce local solutions out of the science works.

  • The Myth

There is a serious confusion in Pakistan about combining research and solution. The academia prefers to do publishable research with the belief that applied research cannot be published in the high repute academic journals. In pursuit of the academic publication, the issues of society and industry are missed or ignored.

  • The Fact – Study by IRP

Institute of Research Promotion – IRP as active technology management institution is involved in 200-300 technology projects. These projects are identified by partner industries and now given to the academia for solution development. IRP has embarked on a research study to investigate this myth and found that there is a breed of scientists who publish well and also contribute to the economic progress of the society. The study conducted over the span of three years included almost 300 cases of technology development. Around 30% of these cases are purely academic where the idea is born, incubated and developed into a good business through the involvement of university faculty.

IRP has developed a training program, a smart book and a paper out of this extensive study. The study is continuous and will include more cases in the future.

  • The Entrepreneurial Scientists

The entrepreneurial scientists adopt a dual role in academic life. They teach and supervise students, engage with industry and society, develop technology solutions and publish their research work also. The ideas of these professors and students of these professors turn into a great business and solve human problems (Jain et al., 2009).

Our study offered a framework extracted from the academic cases that theoretically represent the entrepreneurial scientists. The framework is called PESE and consists of the Personality, The Environment, The Scientific Skills and The Enterprising Skills.

  • The PESE Framework for Entrepreneurial Scientists

The study concludes that personality of the scientists plays a critical role in exercising entrepreneurial science. The personality features like having belief in science capacity to solve social and economic problems of human, showing persistence in case of continuous failures, having love for interaction and engagement with outside world and effective communication help faculty members to grow as entrepreneurial scientists (Moog, Werner, Houweling, & Backes-Gellner, 2015).

Similarly, the environment of the university, city and the country frame the entrepreneurial scientists. The components of the environment include strong IP protection, risk awarding culture, incentives for problem-solving research, industry capacity to exploit academic technologies and training of faculty members to understand local problems and develop technology solutions (Oliver, 2004).

The scientific rigor in terms of Ph.D. qualification, good publications and supervision of graduates’ research is also an enabler for problem-solving research.  Our study also found enterprising skill as fundamental for the researchers to do entrepreneurial science (Moog et al., 2015). The skills are related to generating funding, engaging with stakeholders, converting science into a solution, developing products from academic results and understanding science of consumers’ perception and behaviors of the investor.

The developing countries like Pakistan need to focus on promoting entrepreneurial science by offering related policies and incentive system.


  • Rahmat Ullah, Chief Coordinator Institute of Research Promotion (IRP), Secretary General South Asia Triple Helix Association (SATHA), Manager ORIC, University of Management and Technology – rahmat@irp.edu.pk
  • Rashida R. Zohra, Assistant Professor Jinnah University for Women, Deputy Director OIRC – rrzohra@irp.edu.pk
  • Muqaddas Tariq, Ph.D. Research Scholar Chemistry – muqaddas@irp.edu.pk
  • Aafia Khalid, Research Associate South Asia Triple Helix Association (SATHA), Office of Research Innovation and Commercialization (ORIC), University of Management and Technology (UMT), Lahore – satha@satha.orgaafia.khalid@umt.edu.pk


Jain, S., George, G., & Maltarich, M. (2009). Academics or entrepreneurs? Investigating role identity modification of university scientists involved in commercialization activity. Research policy, 38(6), 922-935.

Moog, P., Werner, A., Houweling, S., & Backes-Gellner, U. (2015). The impact of skills, working time allocation and peer effects on the entrepreneurial intentions of scientists. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 40(3), 493-511.

Oliver, A. L. (2004). Biotechnology entrepreneurial scientists and their collaborations. Research policy, 33(4), 583-597.