One of the key components in revamping the Higher Education for development is high quality applied research. Research must relate to ongoing and anticipated challenges within the energy sector that affect the lives of Pakistanis and impede economic growth. This will range from resolving discrete problems that affect households or businesses, to broader capacity issues that constrain service delivery and growth in the energy sector in Pakistan. The work of our faculty and students will meet the need for high quality, advanced applied research. Defining what constitutes research that meets these standards will require a new mindset that shifts researchers away from overly theoretical concepts and toward innovative applied research solutions that are both sensible and sustainable. To achieve this aim we will require the participation of relevant private sector and government stakeholders in developing the research agendas for our students and faculty to ensure relevance and attract private sector funding for advanced research in the energy sector.
Under the leadership of the proposed council for research and policy, the center will develop standards for high quality, advanced research projects and agendas. The council and its individual members will reach out to its stakeholders – relevant government officials, civil society and the private sector – through private meetings and formal advisory committee meetings. These research agendas will ultimately be subject to the approval of the councils for research and policy. Laboratories and libraries at UET-P will be upgraded as required to bring them up to modern international standards, including communications and IT innovations to promote effective applied research within the energy sector.
The councils will forge a strong link between energy research and policy dialogue formulation by sponsoring politically neutral policy analysis, dialogue and research to inform energy policy in Pakistan. These councils, which will be lean and proactive, will involve public and private sector representatives including the director of the center, a government representative from the energy sector, several key private sector representatives, relevant civil society organization representatives, faculty members, ex officio members from the project team, USAID, and HEC. This committee would periodically expand to allow greater public participation, as needed.