Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Bhubaneswar has invited industries engaged in metal processing to set up research centres in its campus to achieve technological breakthrough and minimise dependencies in technology imports.
“I am inviting Tata, Nalco (National Aluminum Company) to invest in setting up collaborative research centres in our IIT campus, which will also be funded by us. We need industry backing in research areas to develop new technologies. We should be working together,” said Professor Madhusudan Chakraborty, director of Bhubaneswar IIT, while delivering the National Technology Day lecture at Nalco headquarter.
A couple of decades ago India used to depend upon western countries for space technology, missile technology and other industrial techniques, but today it has become self-sufficient in technological need, though it still has a long way to go, he observed.
“The R&D (industrial research) should go hand-in-hand jointly with academic institutions,” Chakraborty said, while offering industries land in the campus area.
IIT-Bhubaneswar is currently running at a temporary campus and will be shifted to its designated area in 2014-15 academic year. The upcoming campus is being set up on 936 acres of land at Jatni, about 15 km from the city.
It has plans to set up three separate schools in the campus such as School of Materials and Mineral Engineering, School of Ocean and Environmental Sciences and School of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering along with a science park that will be reserved for companies to set up research centres, informed Chakraborty.
While Nalco has already undertaken at least 15 collaborative R&D projects with different research institutes in the country, it is in the process of setting up a world class R& D centre in Bhubaneswar.
The Navratna PSU has acquired 18 acres of land at Gothapatna on the outskirts of the city for this purpose and has invested Rs 88 crore in the first phase of its implementation. The proposed research centre would work on technology development related to alumina, aluminium and bauxite.
Commenting upon the IIT director’s proposal, Nalco Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) B L Bagra said, “ It’s a very good proposal and we will look into it.” In his presidential address, he stressed upon the change of mindset on R&D and suggested to take up a technological theme on Responsive Technology Development in 2013-14.