India is lagging far behind the world in the area of transfer of technology (ToT) from the academia to the industry. But with the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ push, things have gradually started moving towards positive change. In this direction, the academia, industry and Punjab government have joined hands for a practical and meaningful academia-industry engagement to enhance prospects of ToT happening in various sectors of the economy.
At a joint press conference in Chandigarh on Thursday, Panjab University (PU) Chandigarh, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST) announced opening of registrations for the industry seeking technology in diverse sectors like engineering, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food processing, chemicals, automation, materials, agriculture, etc to participate in a conference on ‘Industry Focused Research’ to be held at CII Chandigarh on October 12.
Panjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Renu Vig (centre) addressing the press conference at CII Chandigarh on Thursday, while Dr PJ Singh (to her left) and Dr Jatinder Kaur Arora and Prof CR Suri (to her right) listen in.
Photo By: Life In Chandigarh
In the conference, 60 scientists from 34 reputed academic and research institutes, including IITs, national science and technology research organisations, and universities, across the country will present 75+ mostly patented technologies before the industry members to explore the possibilities of transferring them for commercialization. These presentations will be done domain-wise to the relevant industry members in different halls.
While each scientist will get 15 minutes to showcase his/her technology, the subsequent discussions will revolve around the industry members’ feedback, whether it is adoptable in relevant industry or if it needs further upgradation, modification, etc. In cases where both parties – the scientist as well as the industry member – agree to work together, then the concerned technology will be transferred after following due process from academia to the industry.
PSCST will provide facilitation support for tech transfer as well as management of Intellectual Property to all the interested industries and startups.
A domain-wise list of technologies to be presented at the conference is available at https://tecpu.in/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/technologies.pdf
Industry desirous to attend this conference is required to register by paying fees of Rs 1000/person and fill online form available at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe–53WsCnGuIs9-ehwWMGRm_qUK_LEoVwb5eezkM0ctNNHOw/viewform
While candidly admitting that labs in most cases in universities and research institutions are outdated, and will take time to be gradually upgraded due to lack of funds, Panjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Renu Vig called for industry to be more open to providing internships to student researchers to give them exposure to the latest machinery, instrumentation, etc since industry is always ahead of the academia in this regard.
Emphasising that academia research needs to be industry relevant, she said that at the conference many of the technologies presented may not be ready for commercialisation and might need another round of research and upgradation.
At the same time she said thanks to the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ push, the universities and research institutions through technology enabling centres of the Department of Science & Technology (DST-TEC) and other initiatives are increasingly training students to explore entrepreneurship and not be just jobseekers, as has been happening in the past. Industry can also help in this endeavour by offering some handholding, she added.
Dr PJ Singh, Chairman, CII Punjab & CMD, Tynor Orthotics Limited, while mentioning that the MSMEs are struggling to keep pace with the fast changing technological landscape, said CII is determined to close the gap between the industry and academia for an all round win-win situation.
He informed that in order to stitch meaningful industry-academia collaborations, CII Punjab, in collaboration with DST-TEC, has created five industry-academia clubs in the engineering, information technology, pharma & medical devices, textiles and agriculture sectors. In these clubs, people from industry informally share with the academia their pain points on which innovation is desired to be done by scientists. He claimed that the activities of these clubs have gone a long way in generating trust between the two, which was sadly missing earlier.
While expressing confidence that the conference on ‘Industry Focused Research’ will set the pace for future technology transfers, he urged the industry members to take full advantage of the platform and register for it in large numbers. He is expecting an estimated 200 industry members to participate.
PSCST Executive Director Dr Jatinder Kaur Arora while extending the council’s full support to the industry for modernisation, shared that the state is transitioning fast from being an agriculture-intensive to a knowledge-intensive economy. It has received 6th rank in the third edition of the India Innovation Index issued by the Niti Aayog in 2022.
She expressed confidence that the conference would help boost R&D in the private sector, with deeper involvement of research institutions, as well as in devising strategic mechanisms for building a technology transfer platform for the region.
DST-TEC Panjab University Chairman Prof CR Suri shared that worldwide growth is being fuelled by ToTs from academia to industry, and now it is time to make this happen in India. The problem was that most technologies developed by the academia were not reaching the commercialisation stage due to lack of an institutional mechanism, but now with DST-TECs coming up in universities across the country (currently there are 22 of them) this gap is gradually getting diminished. He expressed confidence that through the conference, some technologies will eventually get transferred to the industry in due course of time.
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