Innovation, Research and Development

Verhoogen, E., Chaudhry, A. (ongoing). Spillovers in Technology Adoption: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Pakistan. International Growth Centre.

There are two key challenges that researchers confront when analyzing technology spillovers. Firstly, researchers rarely have direct measures of firms’ technology use. Secondly, if one observes two firms adopting similar technologies, it is difficult to know whether the first firm is having an effect on the second, the second firm is having an effect on the first, or both are being affected by some unobserved factor. This paper resolves both of these issues and provides rigorous, experimental evidence on the presence (or absence) of technology spillovers between manufacturing firms. The setting of the research is the soccer-ball sector in Sialkot, Pakistan, which manufactures 60 million hand-stitched soccer balls each year and accounts for about 70 percent of global production. A new cutting technology has been designed that enables firms to reduce the amount of raw materials required to produce a soccer ball. The authors’ estimates suggest that the technology will save about 2% of the unit costs. The project is still ongoing and should be completed this year.

Ehsan, S. &, Khanum, A. (2014). Global Quality Requirements and their Compliance and Gaps within Pakistan’s Export Sector. The Lahore Journal of Economics, 19. 19, SE/10 Ehsan and Khanum Final.pdf

This paper aims to give a descriptive overview of the quality and compliance of Pakistan’s top export product categories. Due to high competition, innovations in technology and strict measures of quality requirements, the authors suggest that the time has come for Pakistan to build a holistic approach in a systematic manner for its industry in order to not just meet but exceed the international quality standards and certifications for its exports. This paper focuses on Pakistan’s exports in textiles (specifically Cotton Cloth, Knitwear, Cotton Yarn, Ready Made Garments and Towels) and Rice and their compliance with the global standards and the gaps which needs to be filled in order to have a sustainable growth of high quality exports to major global markets. The paper begins with the introduction, top export categories, key dimensions of international quality standards, specific standards and requirements for textiles and rice, quality assurance infrastructure in Pakistan, identification of major gaps, and policy recommendations in order to improve the state of affairs.

Khawar, H., Gilani, A. T., Rana, M. A. (2013). Exploring Dynamics of the Cotton Seed Provision System in Sindh Province- Reducing Barriers to Entry in Cotton Seed Market. International Growth Centre, Pakistan.

Cotton production is critical to Pakistan’s economy. Despite substantial improvement during the last few decades in productivity per unit of land, the average yield in Pakistan is lower than the world average. This is due to a number of factors, such as pests and diseases, water shortages, high temperatures, etc. The effect of these constraints is confounded by the absence of an effective seed provision system. Currently, cottonseed is provided to the farmer by a mix of public and private sectors in a poorly regulated and documented environment. Consequently, it is common for the farmer to have to deal with poor quality seed. There is limited knowledge about the sources of seed provision, their respective shares in the market and the dynamics in each case. The situation warrants rigorous research to explore the nature and dimensions of the cottonseed provision system in Pakistan. The study aims to generate data and analysis for use by public and private sectors. The study focuses exclusively on Sindh province, which contributes about 20% in cotton cultivation every year. The province was selected for this study because its seed industry is less developed as compared with the industry in Punjab. Findings reported in the study are based on fieldwork carried during October- November 2012 in five districts of Sindh. A draft questionnaire and an interview guide were prepared to collect information from respondents. A focus group discussion was also carried out to nuance the understanding of seed provisioning at the farmer level and identify seed sources.

Malik, O. R., & Kotabe, M. (2009). Dynamic capabilities, government policies, and performance in firms from emerging economies: Evidence from India and Pakistan. Journal of Management Studies, 46(3), 421-450.

The authors develop a model of the dynamic capability development mechanisms in Emerging Market Manufacturing Firms (EMF) based on three dynamic capability development mechanisms: organizational learning, reverse engineering, and manufacturing flexibility. These mechanisms are linked with firm performance. They also model the role played by managerial use of two types of government policies: input supporting policies and marketing supporting policies. The sample for the study includes Indian and Pakistani manufacturing firms. Personal interviews of managers were considered a suitable means for data collection. They had been directly involved in selecting and implementing new technologies, and were in a position to engage in higher order reflective thinking about the focal phenomena for this study. Results of the study show that organizational learning, reverse engineering and manufacturing flexibility have had significant impacts on Emerging Market Manufacturing Firms (EMF) performance. Additionally, organizational learning combined with input supporting government policies enhanced performance, and the combination of manufacturing flexibility and marketing supporting government policies had an insignificant influence on performance.

Muneer, T., Maubleu, S., & Asif, M. (2006). Prospects of solar water heating for textile industry in Pakistan. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 10(1), 1-23.

 The biggest challenge Pakistani textile industry is facing today is on cutting down its environmental burdens to cope with the international standards on the issue. Water heating system as required for dying process is one of the major energy consuming areas in fossil fuel-run Pakistani textile industry. Water heating system therefore has a significant contribution towards total environmental impacts associated with textile sector. This work presents an alternate, sustainable solution for water heating by means of fossil fuel. It has been shown herein that under Pakistan’s climate solar energy can contribute significantly towards this duty. In the present work two different designs of built-in storage water heater—plain and newly designed finned type—were constructed to compare their thermal performance. Three months of experimental data were collected for the two heaters. The solar fractions for this period were found to be 63 and 73%, respectively. The monetary and embodied energy payback periods for the two heaters were, respectively, found to be 6.7 and 6.1 years, and 185 and 169 days.

Bhutto, A. (2005). Managing inter industry differences through dynamic capabilities: The case study of Nokia. International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management, 2(03), 235-257.

This paper examines the case of Nokia as a player of the mobile communication industry and provider of mobile communication system: Mobile handsets (consumer goods) and mobile networks (CoPS). The paper aims to analyze the impact of strategic management and dynamic capability developed by a firm of an industry that supports the entire system and manages inter-industry differences of consumer goods and CoPS. Recent convergence among technologies has raised competition among firms. Achieving and sustaining competitive advantage in this converging market is therefore possible by identifying threats and then developing strategies and capabilities to resolve them. This article concludes by examining how the firm can achieve its competitive advantage.

Khattak, M. N., Baseer, M. A. & Bajwa, M. (no date) National Innovation System and the Need for an Up gradation Policy for Innovative and R&D Capabilities in Pakistan. Journal of Quality and Technology Management.

Pakistan’s indigenous technological capability (ITC) is very low mainly due to the fact, that as in most developing countries, Pakistan has not yet developed an effective national innovation system to facilitate the development of its innovative and R& D capabilities. National innovative systems are uncoordinated and fragmented and pose a serious problem in building the country’s technological capabilities. The authors shed light on the status of Pakistan’s innovation and R&DD capabilities using six different indicators. This paper explores the need to build Pakistan’s, innovative and R&D capabilities, and consequently establishes as one of its findings, the need for policy intervention to develop and strengthen the national innovation system, in order to facilitate the innovation capability building process. Moreover, the need for a supportive and fostering technology climate to act as an enabling environment for this entire process was also emphasized. A national innovative system will help Pakistan shift its focus from imitation towards innovation. The authors propose government intervention in the form of a new policy framework to channel the development of these capabilities in the context of a national innovative system.