Chennai: Union Minister of Human Resource Development Shri Prakash Javadekar visited the IIT Madras Research Park (IITMRP) today, 18th January 2018, and interacted with corporate firms and start-ups that are operating from here.
During the occasion, he also inaugurated a newly built state-of-the-art conferencing facility. It consists of a 150-seater Conference Hall named after Sir C.V. Raman and a 50-seater conference hall named after S. Ramanujan and a multi-purpose lounge.
Addressing a meeting on the occasion, the Honourable HRD Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar, said “The IIT Madras Research Park is a modern temple, which will guide the society for years together. The IIT Madras Incubation Cell and Research Park is a real interaction between Industry and Academia.”
“We’ve provided funds for several IITs to set up such Research Parks. We’ll set up a committee to ensure the efforts of IIT Madras is replicated everywhere else. This is what the New India that the Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is talking about,” he said.
“Industry Academia collaboration has been talked about a lot but here it is being done effectively. There are startup companies, innovators and corporates in an ecosystem of innovation. They’re enthused by the innovation of others in this ecosystem,” he said.
Shri Prakash Javadekar said that Incubation Cells, like the one at IIT Madras, are the real key to ‘Make in India.’ Now, by seeing the IIT Madras experiment, many Indian companies and universities are now funding research in India rather than funding research abroad. The Minister also lauded the facilities at the IIT Madras Research Park, which was completely eco-friendly.
Shri Prakash Javadekar said, “We’re having a big campaign of ‘Smart Campus,’ which aims to ‘Save, Conserve and Recycle Water’ besides ‘water harvesting.’ The research being done at such premier institutes is to carry out ‘Relevant Research.’ The second aspect of this Smart Campus is ‘Save and generate electricity.’
IIT Madras is home to India’s first university-driven Research Park. It was modelled along the lines of successful Research Parks in Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.
The Research Park is a national pioneering effort to catalyze collaborative research between industry and academia and enable technological innovation and nurture entrepreneurship. It houses the R&D and innovation wings of industry majors engaged in collaborative research and technology transfer with the faculty.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said, “The Research Park is a game-changer for the faculty and students of IIT Madras as well as the companies collaborating with us. The alchemy created by the coming together of faculty, students and professionals from industry has led to many disruptive innovations, exemplified by the award-winning start-ups emerging from the Incubators at the Research Park.”
Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Faculty-in-charge of IITMRP, and Principal Advisor, Ministry of Railways, Government of India, gave a presentation on the Research Park and its achievements since its inception besides its future plans.
“An important component of the eco-system to make India a nation which design, develops, owns, manufactures and commercialise products, will be University-associated Research Parks (RPs). These Research Parks could take the industry-academia interaction to a new height,” said Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala.
IIT Madras Research Park’s vision is to build a community of people to Dream, Ideate and Build enterprises of the future. With its Green, Modern and Sustainable Technology Park Eco-system, it invites entrepreneurs and industry leaders to establish their R&D units in IITMRP and leverage the intellectual infrastructure of IIT Madras to deliver global innovations of the future that can transform and impact society. IITMRP is also in talks with other corporates and PSUs to set up their R&D units in Phase II.
The IITMRP has reached a significant milestone through the Phase II building: offering total infrastructure of about 1.2 million sq. ft. to companies to set up their Research facilities in close proximity to and leverage IIT Madras’ expertise and R&D infrastructure.
Phase I (0.4 mn sq ft), operational since March 2010, is fully occupied with more than 70 companies, including 57 R&D companies, four IITM Incubators (IITM Incubation Cell, Rural Technology Business Incubator (RTBI), Bio-incubator and MedTech incubator) and eight IITM’s Centres of Excellence/Research Laboratories.
The R&D clients sponsor their employees for part-time Masters/PhD degrees and conduct sector-specific trainings / workshops in the Park. Co-location also enhances R&D collaboration between IITM faculty, students and Industry partners, leading to generation of new concepts and Start-up ideas.
Of the combined 140+ tech startups incubated at IIT Madras Incubation Cell (IIT MIC), early stage ventures are housed within incubator premises while others are renting independent offices in IIT MRP (subsidized rentals offered to incubated startups). As much as 35,000 sq.ft. space is dedicated for IIT M incubators and incubated startups.
Since 2006, 140 startups have been part of IITM Incubation Cell (including sector-specific IITM’s Rural Technology & Business Incubator, Bio-incubator & MedTech incubator). Of these, 32 startups have raised Rs 707 crore (US$ 111 million) from investors.
Furthermore, 63 IITM incubated startups are currently in the market, with a cumulative revenue of Rs 133 crore (US$21 million) generated in financial year 2016-17.
IITM startups are making National Impact as well: On 27th September 2017, the Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched ‘Saubhagya’ scheme, which aims to complete electrification of India by December 2018. The work emerged from research at IIT Madras, with implementation/commercialization being carried out by three IITM startups: Intelizon, Cygni Energy and Chakra Networks.
IITMIC provides ‘concept to scale-up’ support technology and knowledge-based startups through a holistic ecosystem with access to:
• World-class R&D infra at IIT-Madras: Unmatched support for translating innovative concepts into viable products
• Workspace with infra suited to both hardware and software companies and access to domain experts from industry co-located in IITM Research Park
• Business support services (accounting, company secretary, legal and IP), training & networking