Open House 2019: Collection of Innovative Research and Product Development at IIT Delhi

New Delhi: IIT Delhi organised the 15th Open House exhibition for demonstration of new and ongoing research work to the school, college students and other citizens on 20th April, 2019.

The idea is to inspire and motivate especially the young students towards science and provide them exposure to the latest research and innovation activities at IIT Delhi, which is impacting the society and industry.

The one-day event provided an insight into path-breaking research work, new initiatives, student projects and the advanced facilities and laboratories, which have been established at IIT Delhi. This year more than 3500 students from about 100 schools attended the Open House.

The students witnessed more than 60 demonstrations presenting the ongoing research from the various departments of IIT Delhi and about 300 posters in the area of health, energy, clean air & water, artificial intelligence, robotics, and nanotechnology.

Speaking on the occasion of Open House 2019, Prof V. Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi, said: “On a campus like IIT Delhi, there is so much happening. It is a campus buzzing with activity day-in and day-out. Projects range from agriculture to security to Healthcare to atmospheric Sciences. It is important to expose children to some of these research activities early on. They may not understand everything, but they will have life long memories of what they see or hear during their day long interactions and visits to the research labs. Sometimes it is these small triggers or casual interactions that shape one’s future career. Open House organized by IIT Delhi is designed to trigger this imagination and give children these life changing moments. The entire campus comes together to organize this event. Our students and Faculty also learn from the probing questions the young and the unconditioned minds ask. It is a win-win for all. ”

The key attractions at the day-long event included: Fun activities at glass blowing lab, AXLR8R Formula Racing, Robotics club-IIT Delhi and Nanoscale Research Facility. One of the major highlights was the Boeing-IIT National Aeromodelling Competition, where 12 best light-weight aircraft designs were displayed. The students were mesmerized by the manoeuvres and tricks that were performed by the budding designers and airplane enthusiasts.

IIT Delhi Alumni Association has declared a cash reward of Rs.1.8 lakhs to be given to the best selected research posters and demonstrations evaluated by the alumni committee. The visitors found the lectures on “Nanotechnology”, “The science of mind and intelligence”, “Why should I study Bachelor’s degree in Design from IIT Delhi?”, and “Why should you become an Engineer?” very interesting and motivating.

Prof. J.P. Singh, Chairperson, Open House 2019, said, “I am overjoyed to see such an overwhelming response of more than 3500 students from about 100 schools and excited to share that the event was successful in inspiring and motivating young K-12 kids towards Science, Engineering and Technology”.

One important feature which differentiates IIT Delhi from other top institutes in the country is its innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem. Recently, two organisations released the list of 300+ unicorns (start-ups valued more than 1 Billion US $) of the world. As per this data, from the 21 unicorns founded in India or by Indians abroad, 11 unicorns are founded by IIT Delhi Alumni.

IIT Delhi has initiated industry focussed research by establishing Centres of Excellence (CoE) funded by Industry. Yardi Systems Inc has established a CoE at IIT Delhi for research on Sustainable Infrastructure. MoU’s have been signed with Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for initiating major research projects and CoE.

Institute also initiated a new programme of Multi Institutional and Faculty Interdisciplinary Research Programme with faculty within the institute and with other institutes viz. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), and National Institute for Immunology (NII). About 80 such projects are in progress.

Open House is also a celebration of vibrant ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship, which IIT Delhi has built over the years. IIT Delhi initiated IRD Student Startup Action Programme with an objective to support student startup activity in the campus. Students are engaged in start-up actions at different stages and different forms under mentorship of a faculty member. The scheme provides a support environment in terms of recognition, initial seed grant and expert advice.

Another initiative is a programme ‘Discover and Learn (1,2,3,4)’. Herein, a group of 4 students each from 1, 2, 3, & 4 year of B.Tech proposes and works under the guidance of a faculty mentor. The objective is to enhance research aptitude and increase the component of ‘learning by research’ & feel about ‘the excitement of research’. Currently, 14 startup projects and 30 Discover and Learn student projects are operational.

As a part of MHRD’s Design Innovation Center (DIC), institute now offers following three design and innovation schemes for faculty and students:

DISA (Design Innovation Summer Award): is a summer Internship for UG students who would like to engage in product design and innovation activities addressing specific needs of industry/people/society. More than 25 students have been awarded DISA projects so far.

DITSG (Design Innovation Translational Seed Grant): is a scheme introduced to bridge gap between a successful proof-of-concept prototype/solution and a market ready prototype or market deployable solution. More than 25 seed grants have been given to faculty to work with students on innovation projects.

DIF (Design Innovation Fellowship): is a pre-incubation fellowship for students who would like to continue with the institute beyond their graduation and work towards translational research and/or commercialisation of their innovations/products. 14 students have been awarded this annual fellowship so far.