RESEARCH PARK: AMALGAMATION OF INSTITUTE AND INDUSTRY

Hallo people! How are you all? I hope you all had an amazing September… As you would have guessed, I am back with yet another captivating attribute of my IIT Gandhinagar family. So, moving forward in this series today let me familiarize you with one of the most fascinating and latest concepts of this institute- ‘The Research Park’… Suddenly, you all would be having many thoughts in mind, the most basic questions being- ‘What is a research park? What is so enthralling about it?’ Let me give you an idea.

 Research parks are basically facilities that help industries with a research-focus to establish stations in these parks and utilize the expertise available at IITs. They assist the development of innovation ecosystem and aid companies to create, consolidate and progress in terms of knowledge. IIT Gandhinagar is the first among all the new IITs to set up such a facility in its campus. Isn’t it of great utility? A win-win situation for the institute as well as industries- the companies can leverage the institute’s resources for R&D and the students can get exposure to work with these companies!!

 The Central Government (Department of Science & Technology) approved a grant of Rs. 90 crore to set up the research park at IIT Gandhinagar. It is being developed in a 1.20lakh square feet area at the institute-campus in Palaj. According to our Director, Prof. Sudhir Jain, “This will enable us to work on real-life problems… and increase the impact of IITGN. To be ‘business-like’, we have formed a not-for-profit company under Section 8 of the Companies Act to manage the Park.” Mr. Nirmal Jha, Advisor of Industry Partnerships at the Institute, stated, “We have a laboratory for each engineering discipline and this will be available to the industries that choose to do research projects with us. This will bring immense golden-chance for students as they can participate in industrial research and look for industry-specific solutions that will enhance their practical skills as engineers.” IIT Gandhinagar is all about its students — their career, their overall development, their success, their happiness — and this initiative is another ‘unique’ stride amongst numerous others, for their welfare.

Across the globe, Institutes like Harvard, MIT and Stanford are very dynamic in terms of research. This is clearly visible in the form of a large number of start-ups that get developed at these places. Our HRD ministry wants to build-up a similar culture at IITs by means of the research parks. Presently, there are only four IITs that have this facility with Gandhinagar being one of them; the other three being Chennai, Bombay and Kharagpur. The Government plans on establishing five new research parks at IIT Kanpur, IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Guwahati and Indian Institute of Science Bangalore. Isn’t it a great opportunity for all the students?? There is no doubt at all, it definitely is…

  IIT Gandhinagar has already signed an agreement with Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd wherein GUVNL will begin its research and development unit operations in the campus research park. It is a Government of Gujarat company and deals in the business of bulk-purchase and sale of electricity, supervision, coordination and facilitation of its activities of its six subsidiary companies. It will be the first company to start its operations at the Institute’s Research Park. Many more companies are following its footsteps and are in the process of setting up their base-camps at IITGn. The Institute will offer modular office spaces up to 1000 sq ft per company, resources centers, common infrastructure facilities, ample meeting places, board room, auditorium, dining space, space for social activities and many more such features…

  In short, the Research Park at IITGn is ‘a unique physical space enabling global impact that accelerates regional and global competitiveness and lowers the barriers for collaboration between industry and academia’. As they say, “Competition makes us faster, Collaboration makes us better” and “without Collaboration, our growth is limited to our own perspectives”. So friends, I hope you would have gotten an idea about the importance of this distinctive feature by now. It is yet another element in the heap of many, many elements that make my Institute special for its students. Through all these years, this Institute has strived very hard to make the life of all its children better, by taking numerous important steps that would facilitate their complete 360° development. The Research Park is another crucial benefit that it has provided to its students with the help of Government of India. I consider myself really lucky to be a part of this family.

 So, this is it from my end today guys. Will see you all soon with yet another interesting topic of this series… till then Tschüss!

By- Apeksha Srivastava, M.Tech student- Biological Engineering (16210113)

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