SCI­ENCE OF THE TIMES

India Today - - STATES - —Amar­nath K. Menon

TECH THAT

In keep­ing with the vi­sion of its founder, Jamshedji N. Tata, to pro­mote “the ma­te­rial and in­dus­trial wel­fare of In­dia”, the In­dian In­sti­tute of Sci­ence has over the past one-and-a-half decades been en­cour­ag­ing its fac­ulty and stu­dents to pro­tect their in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty and con­vert the out­comes of some of their sci­en­tific in­ves­ti­ga­tions to prac­tice via tech­nol­ogy li­cens­ing or en­trepreneur­ship. In the re­cent past, sev­eral tech­nolo­gies, such as gas flow sen­sors, elec­tri­cal stor­age de­vices and re­lated test in­stru­men­ta­tion and fun­gal pes­ti­cides have been li­censed. In­ven­tors of other tech­nolo­gies such as en­hanced elec­tric gra­di­ent-based wa­ter fil­tra­tion de­vice, a multi-an­a­lytic de­vice for di­a­betes mon­i­tor­ing and op­tic fi­bre sen­sors for struc­tural mon­i­tor­ing have cho­sen the startup route.

THE GE­N­E­SIS

IISc was es­tab­lished in 1909 in a unique pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship be­tween its founder Tata, the then gov­ern­ment of In­dia and the ma­haraja of Mysore, a large part of whose land was do­nated to IISc by his mother in the name of the then young king. As Tata put it then, IISc’s goal was “to pro­vide for ad­vanced in­struc­tion and to con­duct orig­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions in all branches of knowl­edge as are likely to pro­mote the ma­te­rial and in­dus­trial wel­fare of In­dia”. The in­sti­tute has been stead­fast in the pur­suit of that goal, be­com­ing not only the premier in­sti­tute for ad­vanced sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal re­search and ed­u­ca­tion in In­dia but also in the ap­pli­ca­tion of its re­search for in­dus­trial and so­cial ben­e­fit.

FU­TURE COURSE

IISc aims to be a world-class in­sti­tute of higher ed­u­ca­tion and re­search in sci­ence and engi­neer­ing and ranks among the top 50 such in­sti­tu­tions glob­ally. “We’ll build on its strengths in re­search and new knowl­edge gen­er­a­tion in the fron­tier ar­eas of mod­ern sci­ence and engi­neer­ing, con­tinue to de­velop new re­search-ori­ented teach­ing pro­grammes at the post­grad­u­ate and un­der­grad­u­ate lev­els, pro­tect its in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty, nur­ture trans­la­tional re­search and en­cour­age the in­cu­ba­tion of suc­cess­ful star­tups,” says its di­rec­tor Anurag Ku­mar. IISc has al­ways played a role in the na­tional re­search agenda, and con­tin­ues in sig­nif­i­cant ar­eas such as nanoscience, cy­ber phys­i­cal sys­tems, the bi­ol­ogy of hu­man dis­ease (such as cancer and drug-re­sis­tant TB), neu­ro­science, ma­te­rial and de­vices for sens­ing, and ma­te­rial for re­new­able en­ergy and en­ergy stor­age.

GIREESH G.V.

IM­PRES­SIVE FA­CADE The IISc build­ing in Bengaluru

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