27 Sep 2021 23:24 IST

Faculty play key role in nurturing innovation: IIT Delhi Dir

V Ramgopal Rao delivered a masterclass at a virtual event jointly organised by MAHE, NITK and CII

Faculty members must play key role in driving entrepreneurship by involving students and professionals to help India find solutions to the problems, according to V Ramgopal Rao, Director of IIT Delhi.

Delivering a masterclass on ‘Commercialisation of research and technology entrepreneurship’, which was jointly organised by Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Mangaluru on a virtual platform, he said the Government is providing funding for the research works to find solutions to the problems. He said that 5Ts — IT (information technology), BT (biotechnology) NT (nanotechnology), CT (cognitive technology) and QT (quantum technology) — are impacting every aspect of people’s life.

Diversify focus

While the country is leading in the areas of IT and BT, there is a need to focus on NT, CT, and QT also. He said there is a need to focus on the translation of knowledge to wealth in the case of NT. Though India has quality in the area of CT, it does not have enough base. Referring to QT, he said the country needs to capitalise its strong foundation of basic research in this sector. Cryptography and quantum communication are the areas where QT is going to play a major role. He said future computational requirements are met by quantum computers.

Ramgopal Rao said the country needs to ramp up its activities in CT and QT and build scale. The technologies developed for various problems need to mature in the academic environment, he added. Lt Gen MD Venkatesh, Vice-Chancellor of MAHE, said the faculty-driven start-up culture is gaining importance in recent time due to National Innovation and Start-up Policy and government grants to start-ups. In this context, the masterclass would help the faculty members and research scholars from Manipal and other institutes to explore the possibilities of commercialising their research work.

K Umamaheshwar Rao, Director of NITK, said educators should not limit their research work to partial fulfilment of the degrees. They should transform research work into successful actions, he said. Jeevan Saldanha, Chairman of CII-Mangaluru, said that in the current age of rapid disruptions translational research is relevant to industries. He stressed the need for industries to constantly engage with academia.