The National Incubation Centres in Aerospace Technologies (NICAT) will be established at the National Aerospace Science and Technology Park (NASTP), Rawalpindi.
The contract for the establishment of the NICAT was awarded to NETSOL Technologies Ltd and signed by CEO Ignite Asim Shahryar Husain, CEO ACPPL Air Commodore Dr. Liaquatullah Iqbal, and CEO NETSOL Salim Ghauri.
The NETSOL team, based in Lahore, participated virtually due to the prevailing situation in the twin cities.
Asim Shahryar, CEO of Ignite stated that the global aviation industry is estimated to be around $3.5 trillion at present. Hence, the Ministry of IT, and Ignite have planned this new incubator so that Pakistan can unleash its potential in aerospace technologies and get its share in this huge market. The new incubator in Aerospace Technologies will be Ignite’s eighth incubation center with a focus on nurturing high-tech startups related to aerospace and engineering. He said that the engineering facilities available at NASTP will enable our startups to develop hardware in addition to software for aerospace systems.
Speaking on the occasion, CEO ACPPL Air Commodore Dr. Liaquatullah Iqbal revealed that the ACPPL is establishing NASTP to promote, form, and develop small to large-sized aviation and space-related enterprises, laboratories, and R&D centers at the national level. He added that the NICAT will be established at NASTP and will help in nurturing and building the aerospace-related entrepreneurial ecosystem of Pakistan.
CEO NETSOL Technologies Ltd Salim Ghauri stated that the NICAT will transform the potential of aerospace and high-tech ICT-related ideas into reality in accordance with national and global needs and trends. He said that Netsol will leverage its experience of the past 26 years, as well as, its international linkages to make the new incubator successful for inducted startups.
Ignite’s existing seven NICs in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Hyderabad, and Faisalabad have incubated more than 1,150 startups so far which have created more than 117,000 direct and indirect jobs, raised funding of Rs15.4 billion, and generated revenue of Rs9.1 billion so far. Renovation work for NICAT is expected to be completed within three months followed by induction of the first cohort of startups. The signing ceremony was also attended by the executive management of Ignite, Imran Jattala, CEO of Innovators Garage, and senior officers from the ACPPL and the NASTP.