IIT Kanpur alumni join hands to build a world class ICU Ventilator in 90 days amidst pandemic

Kanpur: Education Minister of India, Government of India, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, will launch the book The Ventilator Project at 6 p.m. on 16 March 2021 at a virtual event organised by IIT Kanpur.

The Ventilator Project is authored by Prof. Amitabha Bandyopadhyay (Professor In-charge of the IIT Kanpur Incubator, SIIC), and an experienced IIT Kanpur alumnus, Mr. Srikant Sastri, who is a Board member at the Incubator. It lays out an incredible account of the Noccarc V310 ventilator’s creation by the IIT Kanpur Consortium – in an extraordinary span of 90 days!

How it all began…

On 16th March 2020, Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, released the clarion call for battling COVID-19 with the launch of the COVID-19 Solution Challenge. As Prof. Bandyopadhyay circulated this among IIT Kanpur’s incubated companies, he received enthusiastic responses by start-ups committing to addressing the challenges of COVID-19.


On 24th March 2020, India entered a national lockdown, restricting the movement of 1.38 billion people in two days! The COVID-19 pandemic had begun to engulf world’s health systems and economies, rewinding the development across nations by light-years. Amidst the exponential rise in COVID-19 cases in India and an urgent requirement for life-saving equipment, the country’s public health machinery was facing an imminent crisis.


The result of that call, galvanised by the sheer grit and ambition of one such company, Noccarc Robotics, led Nikhil Kurele and Harshit Rathore to deliver a fully-functional low-cost ventilator amidst a nationwide lockdown. The courageous entrepreneurs were backed by experienced mentors who made the impossible happen in 90 days. They met over daily Zoom calls and exchanged WhatsApp texts to overcome the unforgiving lockdown restrictions. Since then, the Noccarc team has been a proud recipient of numerous accolades, the most recent being the winner at the India International Science Festival (IISF, 2020) in the ‘ventilator’ category.


Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director IIT Kanpur congratulating the authors on their efforts, says, “The book by Amitabha and Srikant captures an exciting journey of passion, commitment and collaboration. The book demonstrates that young talent’s energy and enthusiasm when guided and channelized by experienced leaders can do wonders. In an enthralling story, the book narrates how academia can play the role of a catalyst in building affordable state of the art technology. I hope this book will inspire our academic institutions, entrepreneurs and industry to collaborate more closely for making India achieve leadership status in technology development.”



The Ventilator Project is published by Pan Macmillan India


About the Authors

Srikant Sastri, Chairman of the I3G Advisory Network, is an IIT Kanpur alumni wearing multiple professional hats. He is a Director at IIT Kanpur’s technology business incubator, Startup Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC); Chairman of the IIM Calcutta Innovation Park; Member, National Expert Advisory Council, Dept of Science & Tech, GoI, and a board member at several other incubators. As an entrepreneurship evangelizer, he created the ChaloStartup web series and is on several government advisory bodies.



Amitabha Bandyopadhyay is a scientist trained at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York and Harvard Medical School, Boston. He established his independent research group in 2006 at the Biological Sciences and Bioengineering Department of IIT Kanpur. In 2012, Amitabha got involved with the institute’s technology business incubator, the Startup Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC). In 2018, he became the first occupant of the Kent Chair for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Professor-in-charge of Innovation and Incubation at IIT Kanpur.