Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Feb 08, 2003
Industry & Economy
Research & Development
IIT-Kharagpur unit targets Rs 40-cr revenue
Ambar Singh Roy
KHARAGPUR, Feb. 7
THE Sponsored Research & Industrial Consultancy (SRIC) unit of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT-KGP) is hopeful of generating revenue of over Rs 40 crore during the year ending March 31, 2003. Last fiscal, SRIC earned Rs 30 crore from sponsored research and industrial consultancy activity.
Stating this during an interface with Business Line, the Dean of SRIC, Prof Anil K. Bhowmick, said over 300 research and consultancy projects have been received in 2002-03.
These projects were spread across diverse areas such as electronics, biotechnology, agriculture & food engineering, ship designing, nano-composites, molecular engineering, distance learning programmes, telemedicine, micro-electronics, wasteland management, etc. Besides, SRIC has taken up projects in the VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) realm as well.
Prof Bhowmick said that SRIC had also taken up over 40 overseas projects in the last three years. These include a Norwegian project for development of drugs for micro-bacterial tuberculosis and a water management project from Germany.
A joint project has been taken up with MIT Media Lab Asia for the development of braille software in six regional languages including Tamil, Hindi and Bengali.
In the VLSI domain, SRIC has been engaged in the development of chips of 0.18 microns to 0.25 microns. The development and testing of the chips are done here even as the fabrication is being done in the US.
According to Prof Bhowmick, SRIC has been focussed on its two-fold agenda. The first was to undertake sponsored projects from industry and the second was to develop technologies and patent it before transferring it to industry for a consideration.
Among the companies SRIC has worked for include Tata Steel, Tata Consultancy Services, SAIL, Optel Telecommunications, Balmer Lawrie, etc.
Prof Bhowmick said "some very major projects'' were in the negotiation stage. "If these projects come to us, SRIC's revenue in the year ahead can possibly be doubled,'' he said, adding that SRIC has been facilitating industry-academia interface with a view to ensuring that the critical mass that exists at IIT-KGP is harnessed for development of technology that finds application in industry.
Without elaborating for obvious reasons, Prof Bhowmick said SRIC has taken up a large number of defence projects. The space technology cell of the institute has taken up a space project as well.
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