New place for industry-academic interaction : IIT Bombay launches Research Park

IIT Bombay hit the headlines of newspapers every now and then. Earlier this year IIT Bombay introduced UCEED exam for admission to four year, eight semester Bachelor of Design (B. Des.) programme and a five year, ten semester dual degree B. Des. + M. Des. Programme at IIT Bombay and IIITDM Jabalpur. As of now, the prestigious institute is introducing the most awaited change by launching its ambitious ‘Research Park’ project to celebrate its 10-year partnership with Applied Materials. The research park will be opened in Powai to create a common platform for researchers, the academia and industry to work in close collaboration with each other on contemporary research problems, technology challenges and product innovations.

The research park was launched on October 22, 2015 at the Victor Menezes Convention Centre in the IIT-B campus. The infrastructure budget of the research park is over 1 million sq ft of space at IIT-B and the cost involved in the establishment of the project is somewhere around Rs. 400 crores.

iit bombay research park
IIT Bombay launches Research Park to celebrate its 10-year partnership with Applied Materials. Photo Courtesy – IIT Bombay website

Abhay Karandikar, professor-in-charge of Research Park said, “The research park will provide space, prototyping facilities and concept testing to convert the ideas of innovators into tangible products and services. Lab facilities will nurture the start-ups and help to test and validate their concepts.” Further while telling the audience that IIT-B will open its programme to outsiders as well, he said “The idea is to develop the next generation of business leaders. Many innovators and Indian companies are working to address the need of our society, despite technological constraints. With our accelerator program, we can now offer them lab facilities and intellectual capital.”

30 Indian and multi-national corporations have agreed to pitch later this year. In the later phases it is expected that more R&D companies will come in association with IIT Bombay Research Park and the industry-academia interactions hopefully will be taken to a new level.

The Applied Materials and IIT Bombay partnership started with a few sponsored projects in 2005, to strengthen their partnership, IIT Bombay and Applied Materials announced that Applied will be the first anchor client of IITB’s upcoming research park. The collaboration has also catalyzed the establishment of two national research centers at IIT Bombay – the Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics (CEN) and the National Center for Photovoltaics Research & Education (NCPRE).

Dr. Om Nalamasu, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Applied Materials, Inc. said, “it is the most comprehensive industry-academia collaborations in the world. It serves as a great benchmark of how a global innovation-focused company and a leading research university can work together to provide foundational skills for a developing industry.”

Keeping in mind the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Indian Government the need of the hour was to create an ecosystem which acts as a major boost up for next-generation research and high-value manufacturing so as to increase economic growth in the country the ambitious project is being launched.

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