US Deputy Chief of Mission visits ITU Lahore
MoU signed by Dr Umer Saif and US envoy
LAHORE (April 19, 2016): Information Technology University (ITU) Vice Chancellor Dr. Umar Saif and Deputy Chief of Mission for the American Embassy in Pakistan Jonathan Pratt signed a Memorandum of Understanding today that establishes a partnership between the University and the U.S. Consulate General in Lahore to build a Lincoln Corner on the University’s campus.
“Lincoln Corner is a great opportunity to build bridges and increase mutual understanding between Pakistan and the United States,” said Dr. Umar Saif. Lincoln Corners are partnerships between the Embassy and Consulates of the United States of America and selected institutions in Pakistan. Located within universities, public libraries, and other institutions, Lincoln Corners are platforms for providing information about the United States, English language learning, Education USA, cultural programs and alumni activities.
“Lincoln Corner Lahore will host academic programs, speakers from the United States, and English language activities and cultural events like the Ari Roland Jazz Quartet’s that recently performed at the University,” said Mr. Pratt.
These spaces promote open dialogue, counter negative preconceptions, and build bridges of understanding. Visitors gain free access to Wi-Fi, reliable information about the United States through books, magazines, videos, internet, databases, and programs for the general public.
In addition to the signing ceremony, Dr. Saif gave Mr. Pratt a tour of the Plan9 incubator and PlanX accelerator facilities, which are projects of the Punjab Information Technology Board and are housed at ITU. DCM Pratt visited with Plan9 entrepreneurs selected to travel to Austin, TX as part of ATX+PAK, a project that connects Plan9/PlanX with the City of Austin to develop partnerships in support of entrepreneurial activities. This project, which is funded by the U.S. Consulate General through a $500,000 grant, will help connect the vibrant community of entrepreneurs, investors, and the creative community in Austin’s startup scene to those in emerging startup communities in Pakistan.
Twenty-eight entrepreneurs will travel to Austin for the ATX+PAK: Launch sessions which will occur at least twice per year in concert with incubation cycles at Plan 9/ Plan X. Participants will receive one-on-one coaching as well as group training and development from leading entrepreneurship experts and mentor investors tailored to their specific business needs.