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Ambassador Belal: Bangladesh needs research-based innovation to compete with others

  • Published at 04:11 pm February 6th, 2019
web_Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands Sheikh Mohammed Belal
File Photo of Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands Sheikh Mohammed Belal Collected

First-ever Shaheed Minar to be unveiled in The Hague on February 21

Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands Sheikh Mohammed Belal has said that Bangladesh needs research-based innovation to compete with other developing countries.

He said: “In terms of digital innovation and technological advancement, Bangladesh has entered a new era under the able leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in the last ten years.”

As part of giving back, he urged the expatriate community to contribute in further advancing Bangladesh’s technological advancement; especially in the field of research and IT.

The Bangladesh Embassy recently organized an interactive discussion session entitled “Brainport in Bangladesh: Lessons from Eindhoven, The Netherlands” and discussed the issues.

The embassy remarked that a good number of expatriate Bangladeshis, who are working in different high-tech organizations and research institutions of Eindhoven—commonly known as Brainport— attended the session on Wednesday.

The expat community—working for renowned IT firms like ASML, NXP, Phillips, TU Eindhoven, etc.—participated in this discussion session and reiterated their resolve to be of assistance to young professionals and start-ups; should they wish to be helped.

They also highlighted the acute need for a quantum increase in government funding for public universities and the creation of a culture of triple helix—involving government, businesses, and academics—like the Dutch have been doing for centuries.

The expatriates stated they would sustain their efforts to impart skills among the youth of Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh Embassy, in collaboration with Brain Chain, is working to create a database of all ICT expatriates from Bangladesh in the Netherlands; it hopes that such database will help our experts and students to network for better opportunities at home and abroad.

The session was divided into two parts; in the first part, members of the expat community presented the concept of Brainport and how the Netherlands is leading the region in terms of technological advancement, while the second part focused on relating the concept to Bangladesh.

Dr. Ramiz Uddin, Head of Results Management and Data of the Access 2 Information (a2i) Program, the Prime Minister's Office, Bangladesh, and his team, were connected via Skype and shared their views during the presentation.

Ambassador Belal congratulated the expat community and acknowledged their contribution towards the development of tech industries and research institutes of the Netherlands.

He briefly outlined the latest developments of Bangladesh’s IT sector in light of the goals and targets embedded in Vision 2021 and the election manifesto of the present government.

In this regard, the ambassador said that the embassy will act as a medium to connect expats with the authorities concerned of Bangladesh so that they can exchange their views and ideas effectively.

Joining in the interactive discussion session, the a2i team mentioned the necessity of making a database of expats—as per their area of specialization—and requested the database be shared with the a2i team so that the expats' expertise could be utilized when appropriate opportunities are available.

Moreover, Belal praised the relentless efforts of a2i in rendering hassle-free public services to the doorsteps of the grassroots people through the digitization of services.

Dr Dilruba Nasrin, spouse of the ambassador, while distributing tokens of appreciation to the participants, stated that she hopes to see a more engaged community so that knowledge and innovations from the Netherlands can also be implemented in Bangladesh, where possible.

The embassy also urged all to attend their forthcoming historic event inaugurating the first-ever Shaheed Minar in The Hague, on February 21, at the Zuiderpark.

Notably, the Dutch city of Eindhoven is considered the 3rd European city of the future; based on the Brainport concept. 

Brainport Eindhoven develops technologies that changes lives as their innovation is future-oriented, safer, and cleaner. Around 40% of all Dutch spending on Research and Development is spent in Brainport, Eindhoven.