IIT Roorkee inaugurates Design Innovation Centre (DIC)

Roorkee : Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee today launched the Design Innovation Centre (DIC) named (Navonmesh)with a project outlay of Rs. 10 crores. Funded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India, the centre aims to address issues of the Himalayan Region using locally available resources as well as cater to National Priorities.

Inaugurating the centre, Prof. Ajit K. Chaturvedi, Director-IIT Roorkee said, “The technical/non-technical colleges/institutes and schools can involve themselves in mentoring and supporting innovation and design activities, to address general issues & issues specific to the Himalayan region. This will also help Indian Farmers and develop innovative means & ways to enhance their growth & productivity. The centre will usher in a new culture among the stakeholders of the state to address the difficulties faced by the common people in their daily life. The emphasis is on the development of a design culture and interdisciplinary work. All infrastructural support will be provided to the centre to make it one of the leading centres”. Professor Chaturvedi also pointed out the importance of humanisation of technologies using the platform of DIC. He emphasized on exploring the unique opportunity of taking technologies to the farmers of the state through the KVK (Krishi Vikas Kendra) network developed by the partner institute College of Technology, G B Pant University of Agriculture and Technology.

He further added, “DIC, IIT Roorkee will operate in the Hub and Spoke model in which IIT Roorkee will be the Hub institute with three other premier institutes in the region acting as spokes namely, National Institute of Technology Uttarakhand (NITUK), Indian Institute of Management, Kashipur (IIM Kashipur) and College of Technology, GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology (GBPUA&T), Pantnagar.” The Design Innovation Centre, IIT Roorkee will be headed by Prof. Apurbba Kumar Sharma as the Coordinator and Principal Investigator of the centre.

Prof. PVM Rao, Head of the Department of Design at IIT Delhi, while speaking as the guest of honour, explained the concept of such an innovation centre and said, “I have full confidence on IIT Roorkee for accomplishing the targeted tasks. I am happy about the unique programs targeted by Design Innovation Centre at IIT Roorkee. A centre of design would make tools and technology accessible to make human life easier while solving many environment-related problems.”Prof. Rao has also had shared some of his experiences at IIT Delhi on developing design programs and explained a few schemes how to make design interesting to the students.

Prof Pradyuman Vyas, Director NID, Ahmedabad, addressed the gathering using Skype. He emphasised the need of coming together of different professionals such as engineers and doctors for developing innovative solutions for the country.

The DIC’s objective is to develop innovative designs primarily to address the local issues which need low-cost solutions and to nurture and advance the culture of design and innovation in the region to improve the quality of life. The DIC aims to produce region-specific products and will support innovative proposals for product development. Design Innovation Centre, along with its patrons will focus on the specific problems of the region which will benefit the society. The DIC has already identified several products that are going to be developed under its aegis. The center will develop products like ‘green furniture’ using the forest wastes – that will potentially help minimizing hazards due to forest fire, advanced crop harvester to make the life the farmers easy, advanced loom make increase the productivity of the local weavers and all terrain vehicles to help people carrying loads to areas where formal roads are not there. Another important focus of the center is to develop assistive devices for people with mobility and sensory impairments. IIT Roorkee already has an ecosystem in place in terms of well-established Tinkering Lab, technology incubation center and a mechanism for protecting intellectual properties that supports the design center’s activities.

Additionally, it has some unique outreach programs such as COMAL (Common Man to Laboratory), under which DIC will connect with the common man, who often has innovative ideas, but usually gets deprived of proper mentoring, to turn his ideas to reality. Further, the center will focus on taking the laboratory scale developments to the common man as well as the relevant industries through its schemes like P2P (Prayogshala to Prayogkshetra) and U2U (Udbhavan to Utpadan)

The DIC will also provide following study programmes:

· Minor specialisation on Innovation Management and Product design.
· Modular programme (Certificate courses) on focused areas / design of different time durations (1-3 months).
· Elective courses in UG/PG programmes
· Two 2-year Masters Programmes on Industrial Design and Innovation Management (MIM)
In addition to this, the DIC will also take up Industrial Consultancy and Collaborative Activities besides conducting Workshops/Seminars and U2U (Udbhavan to Utpadan). The Design and Innovation Centre will evolve a unique model of focusing on the development of a culture of collaborative partnership with society, industry and other stakeholders to further develop state-of-the-art outcomes like addressing the needs of differently-abled people which is among the priority areas at IIT Roorkee.