IIT Madras conducts conclave for Corporates to showcase cutting-edge research on technologies for social impact

CHENNAI : Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) conducted a conclave to showcase its innovative technology projects to Corporate Leaders in Bengaluru on 14th July 2022.

Titled ‘Leveraging Technology to Drive your CSR,’ the conclave was an outreach to Corporates to create awareness on various technological innovations underway at the Institute to provide high-impact solutions to key societal issues facing the country.

Organised by the Office of Alumni and Corporate Relations, IIT Madras, the event also highlighted the increasing interest among Corporates on investing in research to further social impact at scale under their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) partnerships at IIT Madras.

IIT Madras has collaborated with over 200 Corporates on technology-driven CSR projects that have societal impact across the various UN-SDGs (United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals).

The participants of the conclave included senior leadership from leading corporates and entities like Mphasis, CGI, Collins Aerospace, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Sabre Global Capability Centre, Bosch, BIALAI, Cytiva, 3M, Intel and Suez Water Technologies, among others.

Addressing the Conclave, Prof. Mahesh Panchagnula, Dean, Alumni and Corporate Relations, IIT Madras, said, “We are excited to partner with Corporate Partners in Bengaluru to help local communities. This event was just a small glimpse of some key areas across climate change, women empowerment, sustainable infrastructure and edu-skilling where technology developed at IIT Madras has truly been a game-changer. In fact, we are finding that, gradually and increasingly, leading Corporates are choosing to deploy their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funding to invest in technology, innovation and research for a better tomorrow.”

A total of nine IIT Madras faculty explained their research and the impact that their innovations and projects would create in various areas of growing social concern and relevance.

This was the first outreach event on CSR organised by IIT Madras at Bengaluru, to create awareness on IITM’s extensive work across socially relevant themes and consequently, to explore CSR synergies with several corporates based out of the same region. 

Speaking on the significance of technology-driven CSR, Mr. Kaviraj Nair, Chief Executive Officer, Office of Institutional Advancement, IIT Madras, said, “It is very encouraging to see the eagerness of corporates to partner with globally-reputed academic institutions like IIT Madras to work on socially- relevant transformational projects. It is also a testimony to our ability to deliver social impact through pertinent interventions. If corporates can leverage the wealth of talent and experience in eminent academic institutions like IIT Madras, it will certainly help them leapfrog in their pursuits to contribute meaningfully to  society.”

Speaking during the conclave, Mr.N irbhay Lumde, CSR Lead, CGI, said, “It has been insightful to witness the impactful work of IIT Madras in the areas of technology and innovation that drives our world today. I am glad to have moderated a discussion around innovative practices in addressing issues in the area of sustainable housing, water and climate challenges that the world is facing today and how funding research under CSR can be the answer.“

The CSR-funded projects undertaken by IIT Madras also help in meeting United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

An engaging panel discussion on ‘Sustainable Development of Urban Infrastructure’ was held during the conclave with Prof. Ligy Philip, Dean (Planning), IIT Madras; Prof. Indumathi Nambi, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras; and Dr. Radhakrishna G. Pillai, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras; that highlighted their impactful projects in the areas of water, sanitation and construction materials, among others.

During another panel discussion on ‘Climate Change (Environment and Air Pollution) Prof. S.M. Shiva Nagendra, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras; Prof. Nirav Bhatt, Department of Bio-Technology, IIT Madras and Dr. Aravind Kumar Chandiran, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Madras, shared about their innovative, ready-to-scale initiatives in this domain.

An interactive panel discussion on ‘Revolutionizing Edu-Skilling’ saw the participation of Prof. Vignesh Muthuvijayan, Coordinator, BSc Degree Program; and Prof. Pijush Ghosh, Department of Applied Mechanics, IIT Madras, which highlighted the need to create job-ready youth and how technology was being used to break down barriers in education across various related CSR collaborations with IIT Madras.

During the conclave, a panel on diversity, equity and women in STEM saw the active participation of Prof. Indumathi M. Nambi, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras,  Prof. Preeti Aghalayam, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Madras and Prof. Ligy Philip, Dean (Planning), IIT Madras, sparking off thought-provoking discussions with all present.

The panels were moderated compellingly by eminent Industry Leaders, Mr. Anit Sawarkar, CSR Head, Collins Aerospace, Mr. Nirbhay Lumde, CSR Lead, CGI, and Ms. Anuroopa Pereira, Director Marketing and Communications, Sabre India.

The event culminated with an engaging fireside chat on ‘Leveraging Academic Research Capabilities with Corporate Implementation through CSR’ between
Ms. Deepa Nagraj, Global Head of Communications & Sparkle Innovation Ecosystem at Mphasis and Manoj K.Ramakrishna, Head – Marketing  – South Asia, Ctyiva, where they shared about their unique research-based CSR collaborations with IIT Madras. They also shared about how investing in research today with the expertise of a renowned institution like IIT Madras, would be a valuable investment for a better tomorrow.