By Office of Public Affairs
29 August 2022 – Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority (BHTPA) to develop skilled human resources suitable for technological revolution during a ceremony held online via zoom. Under this agreement, AIT and BHTPA will work together to exchange global knowledge on the application of engineering and technology in agriculture, business, industry, and sustainable development.
In his welcome speech, BHTPA Managing Director Dr. Bikarna Kumar Ghosh expressed confidence that the agreement will help youths in Bangladesh to pursue specialized study and training through graduate studies to become qualified and skilled workers of the fourth industrial revolution. “Through this, Bangladesh will rise to new heights in the digital world”, he said, stressing that the collaboration between the two institutions has great potential to enhance the technical sector of the country.
Speaking as the chief guest at the event, ICT State Minister H.E. Zunaid Ahmed Palak highlighted Bangladesh’s incredible progress under the competent leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the guidance of the ICT advisor Sajib Wazed Joy.
“Bangladesh is on its path to becoming the 24th largest economy in the world by 2036. However, we are facing challenges in managing skilled human resources”, he said, asserting the need for high-end researchers that can make major contributions to the country and the region. He acknowledged AIT’s contribution as a regional hub for producing skilled human resources and expressed confidence that the agreement will be an enabler driving the future economic growth of Bangladesh.
The purpose of the MoU is to provide a framework for cooperation between AIT and BHTPA. It will create collaborative opportunities to implement programs to enhance knowledge and skills through professional development activities, student exchange, and experiential learning for Bangladeshi students in postgraduate programs at AIT. Similarly, it will enable cooperation in training, incubation, mentoring, and facilitating emerging entrepreneurs and startups by promoting partnerships and funding platforms from both organizations and countries.
Speaking about his recent visit to AIT, Minister Palak said that the rapid progress in the relationship between the two institutions will be very effective in achieving the shared goal of developing a new generation familiar with frontier technology. “I believe that this MoU will further strengthen the relationship between the two institutions. We can explore joint tech-based skill development & technical fellowship programs for youths, government officers, and industry experts to enhance the skill set on emerging technologies such as Cyber Security, AI, Blockchain, AR, and VR”, he added.
Stating that the agreement marks a beginning, AIT President Dr. Eden Y. Woon expressed confidence that the partnership can reach new levels of higher education cooperation and capacity development, availing mutual benefits for Bangladesh, Thailand, and the region at large.
He added, “AIT’s partnerships with Bangladesh have been implemented through formalized MoUs on international cooperation in education and research for capacity building with various institutions, government agencies, and universities. A key part of the collaboration between AIT and Bangladesh was the inauguration of the first-ever Bangabandhu Chair Professorship at AIT to promote research on Sustainable and Integrated Smart Energy Modeling”.
Dr. Woon acknowledged H.E. Zunaid Ahmed Palak’s courtesy visit to AIT in May and his special talk at AIT Entrepreneurship Center Creator Space on ‘Future of Innovation in Bangladesh and Opportunities for Global Collaboration’. He further added, “We had a discussion on possible partnerships with Innovative Design and Entrepreneurship, Hi-Tech Park Authority, a2i, and Startup company in Bangladesh. Moreover, our discussion was to explore a partnership for capacity development and exchange opportunities for students, researchers, and faculty members.”
Stating that AIT was created out of a regional need for international cooperation and human resources development in technology, environment, and management; underscored by its motto ‘Social Impact with Innovation’, he further added, “Our cooperation with leading government agencies such as Hi-Tech Park Authority is important in this respect to support innovation and sustainable development.”
Lastly, he thanked the Government of Bangladesh and The Embassy of Bangladesh in Thailand for supporting the collaboration. He further expressed delight for the opportunity to work closely with the ICT Division, Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications, and IT.
The event was moderated by Senior Secretary of ICT Department NM Ziaul Alam, and Hi-Tech Park Authority consultant Tamjid Bin Ahmed.
Participants in this MoU ceremony from AIT included AIT President Dr. Eden Woon; Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) Prof. Shobhakar Dhakal; Vice President for Administration (VPA) Mr. Russell Rein, Dean of School of Engineering and Technology (SET) Prof. Dieter Trau; Institute Secretary Mr. Karma Rana, Director of Office of International Affairs (OIA) Mr. Shawn P. Kelly; Deputy Director of Office of Public Affairs (OPA) Mr. Sanjeet Amatya and Senior Program Officer of OIA Ms. Indra Kumari, Executive Assistant to the Dean & Coordinator, M Zia Islam and AIT Extension Business Development Director, Fazle Karim.