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New Delhi,Rohinee Singh: In an attempt to strengthen the link between laboratory and industry, the government plans to pump in more funds to establish 50 research parks all over the country. Taking a leaf from Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) Madras, Bombay and Kharagpur, the Prime Minister has asked the human resource development ministry to kick start the Start-up India campaign by scaling up these research parks with 50 other institutions.
The move will support not just the start up India campaign, but will also boost the make in India and skill India campaigns of the government.
Research continues to be major component of the premium technical and management institutions. Since most of this departmental research is conducted without taking the industry into account, not much of this research gets to see the light of the day and it continues to remain shelved.
In most cases, the departments after having successfully attained the result of their research, approach the industry with their product. It is then left for the industry whether or not to adopt the research.
The research park, however, works on the reverse model. “The industry comes up with its idea or a product, to which we provide technical assistance and other back-end services so that the idea can be generated into a product,” explained Professor Rajendra Mootha, COO of the research park at IIT Madras.
The five-year-old research park at IIT Madras is working on 60 such research projects and has incubated more than 80 companies. “IIT Madras has been working closely with Shankar Nethralaya eye hospital in Chennai. It is assisting the research and development wing of Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd besides partnering with Tata Consultancy Services and Forbes Marshall, amongst others,” added Mootha.
While the research park at IIT Madras is already operational, the ones at Kharagpur and Bombay are also to start operations soon.
To give a boost to the Start-up India campaign, the HRD ministry plans to expand the concept to 16 IITs, 20 National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and 14 Indian Institutes of Management.
A few rounds of meetings have taken place since October, when the idea was mooted for the first time by the prime minister. IIT Delhi which has one of the first industry incubation centres will be amongst the first one to get a research park on its campus. “We already have a very successful incubation centre. The process of setting up a research park has already been initiated. We will be able to set up a research park early next year,” said Professor Kshitij Gupta, officiating director at IIT Delhi.