Next 5 years may see 600+ technologies going from lab to market as the Department of Science & Technology (DST) supported ecosystem and NRF gets into industry-oriented collaborative research mindset and change in an effort to raise the technological profile of the country and spread it to academia.
At the IIT Mandi iHub and HCI Foundation’s “HIVE Conclave” held in New Delhi on Nov 18, Dr. Akhilesh Gupta, Senior Advisor, Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Secretary of Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), spelt out India’s ongoing effort at making country’s technological research ecosystem more application oriented by fostering collaboration and convergence between researchers and industry professionals in India. In particular, Dr Gupta referred to the soon to be launched Rs 5000 Cr National Quantum Mission, which could make India a leading tech nation in this realm in the world. He also talked about the National Research Foundation (NRF) and its roadmap for next five years when it is expected to turn into a Rs 50K Cr entity with greater participation from private industry. “I would say the past four years or more exactly the post-covid two years has seen a complete reorientation in our thinking and over 600 technologies are in various stages and 1/3rd of them have gone to market. We have over one lakh startups in India today, out of which only around 3500 are into deeptech; this too has to be increased and focused upon so that India can lead globally in disruption in the near future.”
The first edition of its kind ‘HIVE Conclave’ themed on “Leading through Problem Statement: Following it with Solution Pitch!” witnessed five presentations consisting of collaborative efforts from both the research and industry sides. The value and potential impact from these presentations were judged by an esteemed panel of experts, and the winning presenters were rewarded with a cash prize. Somjit Amrit, CEO, IIT Mandi iHub and HCI Foundation, laid emphasis on creating Indian-centric datasets across problem statements to address societal challenges better.
Earier in his inaugural welcome address, Prof. Laxmidhar Behera, Director, IIT Mandi, congratulated IIT Mandi iHub for its Skill Development Program which is not only focusing on skilling but ensuring employment after skill training. The Technology Innovation Hub empowers youth, boasting a 100% success rate, with 180+ students having being trained and securing jobs. Talking about the IIT Mandi’s engagement with the R & D, Prof. Behera said, “IIT Mandi is at the forefront of Human-Computer Interaction, with numerous exciting developments underway. Our focus extends beyond theoretical research to tangible marketable products. In collaboration with a consortium of researchers, we are driving four grand projects, including an innovative artificial skin, a bio-manufacturing initiative for printable food, Digital smell and the crucial development of a Made-in-India air ambulance. Beyond these, our diverse projects span includes non-invasive diabetic diagnosis, smart yoga mats, and more.”
The event featured a series of impactful addresses and talks, including a Keynotes by Hon. Prof. M Balakrishnan, IIT Delhi, focusing on the “simplicity fostered by user-centric designs” and Prof. Anirudha Joshi, IIT Bombay, spoke on “Design technology solutions for and with Indian emergent users.” Lt. Gen. Dr. Anil Kapoor (AVSM, VSM Retd.) shared insights on “Human-Machine Interface – A Design Thinking Perspective from Lab to Market.”
The HIVE Conclave also showcased innovative presentations and case studies, covering groundbreaking topics such as – “Beyond the Line of Sight, Human-Drone Interface” by Dr. Satadal Ghosh, IIT Madras, and “Edible customized content creation through 3D printing” by Dr. Sumit Murab, IIT Mandi. Dr. Gaurav Jaswal presented a real-life case study on “Driver Alertness Management System,” emphasizing its journey from research to market. Additionally, there were impactful presentations, including “A full lifecycle of tumour detection from screening to diagnosis” by Dr. Vishakha Bharati, UE Lifesciences, and Dr. Sukomal Dey, IIT Pallakad; and “A Human-Device Intervention for Stress Management” by Dr. Amita Jain, NSUT Delhi, and Priyanshu Priyam, AyuSpectra.
Finally, in a bid to ensure that industry perspectives don’t go unspoken about, there were talks by various industry stalwarts as well. Anil Viswas, General Manager, Open Innovation – Startups, Samsung Research, provided a practitioner’s viewpoint on “Business to Consumer based innovative practices over the lifecycle of prototype to product.” Mr. KR Venkatadri, CTO, Tata Chemicals Ltd., discussed the “Collaboration between Research Institutes and Industry – Benefits & Models. Mr. Sridharan Thyagrajan, Founder of Bumo3dr (Singapore), and Mr. Anu Pillai, Digital Partner at Wipro, discussed the “Use of experience technologies in solving real-life problems.”