Technology and entrepreneurship are corner stones for human growth in this digital era. A product based fin-tech multinational with its premier client base of auto-industry Fortune 500 brands worldwide, Netsol has been engaged with emerging founders and technologies across the world for over two decades. Nspire is the incubation initiative by Netsol set up by the vision of CEO Salim Ghauri, which has been formally operating to contribute to the development of the Pakistan technology and entrepreneurship eco-system since 2015. Over this period Nspire has incubated over sixty start-ups, held thousands of events and workshops and gained good repute, network and partners within and outside Pakistan. Last few years have seen a surge of businesses based on emerging technologies with a focus on engineering, tourism, education as well as social causes.
Nspire is led by Ayub Ghauri since 2017, who has helped it to keep changing with the fast-evolving landscape of Pakistan. Under his vision this year Nspire applied and won the bid for the new National Incubation Center for Aerospace Technologies (NICAT) with its consortium members, PAC Kamra, Air University and Innovators Garage.
NICAT is being set up in collaboration with Ignite (National Technology RnD Fund) and Aviation City
Pakistan (ACP), where Ignite is funding NICAT, being housed within ACP’s newly built Alpha Facility at the
National Aerospace and Software Technology Park (NASTAP) situated at Old Chaklala Airport, Rawalpindi. CEO ACPPL, Air Commodore, Dr. Liaquatullah Iqbal, SI(M) revealed that ACPPL will nurture the aerospace related entrepreneurship eco-system of Pakistan through NASTAP, and promote, form and develop small to large sized aviation and space related enterprises, laboratories and R&D centers at national level. NICAT shall focus on aerospace technologies, high-tech engineering and deep technologies related to ICT and connected domains such as cyber security, AR/VR, CnC systems, etc. Through the allied partners and consortium member’s startups and businesses will have the opportunity to build or grow their businesses. The center shall bring these communities together, provide trainings, access to experts, mentors, networks, to prototyping and testing facilities (with mentionable facilities of PAC Kamra) and eventually partners and investors.
While sharing thoughts and remarks at the contract signing last month Netsol CEO Salim Ghauri said that NICAT will transform the potential of aerospace and high-tech ICT related ideas into reality in accordance with national and global needs and trends. Asim Shahryar, CEO Ignite also stressed that the global aviation industry is estimated to be around $3.5 trillion at present, which presents a great opportunity for Pakistan. While sharing his vision, Ayub Ghauri said: “We at NETSOL are well excited to lead Aerospace Technology vertical specific NICAT in NIC eco system. We will be striving to bring out the best that Pakistan has to offer within Aerospace whether it’s next generation of drones that enable access for hard to reach places, fuel efficiency through aircraft design while reducing carbon emissions, better user experience through superior simulators, and down to better luggage and cargo management etc. we shall influence all. Our target will be to go global and fly our green flag in world aviation arena.”
The Center is nearing completion and has opened its online application for its first cohort. NICAT shall host twenty-five startups for incubation/acceleration per year and we can all look forward to very interesting, innovative and mind-capturing startups coming through here. The implementation team is led by Program Director, Imran Jattala, who has been contributing to founders and eco-system development for over a decade and a half. He is supported by Principal Advisor and an established veteran in this space, AVM (r) Dr. Asad Ikram, who led PAC Kamra during his service years.