IIT Madras Tops in Industrial Consultancy Projects, Earnings
In 2015-16, IIT Madras had 737 projects and received ₹ 63.15 cr as consultancy fees
Sreeradha D Basu
Mumbai: The Indian Institute of Technology Madras has been going all out to promote a collaborative environment between industry and academia, a move that has helped it bag a significantly higher number of industrial consultancy projects.
According to National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) -2017 data shared by IIT Madras, the institute leads among the top five IITs in terms of both industrial consultancy projects as well as earnings through that route. In 2015-16, IIT Madras had 737 projects from 383 clients and received ₹ 63.15 crore through industrial consultancy earnings. The number of consultancy projects increased 26% compared to that in the previous year.
IIT Bombay had more clients (438) in 201516, but it bagged fewer projects (591) than IIT Madras and earned ₹ 35.14 crore. IIT Delhi had 428 projects from 305 clients, earning ₹ 39.95 crore through industrial consultancy in 2015-16.
“For the last few years, we have been actively trying to breach the physical gap between IITs and industry and the IIT Madras Research Park has had a significant role to play in this. In 2016-17, we had com- mitments of ₹ 80 crore, of which ₹ 70 crore has been realised,” said Krishnan Balasubramanian, dean, industrial consultancy and sponsored research (IC&SR), IIT Madras. “We have about 40 companies who have their research facilities in our park now. By the end of 2018, that number should almost double.”
IIT Madras Research Park is an independent company promoted by IIT Madras and its alumni that facilitates the promotion of research and development by the institute in partnership with industry. It helps companies with a research focus to set up a base in the park and leverage the expertise available at IIT Madras. Phase 1 of the park was about 400,000 square feet and the just-added Phase 2 will take it up to 1.3 million-plus sq ft.
“We have just signed an agreement with Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions to set up a research centre to address data sciences and artificial intelligence. Tata Steel is also just coming on board after signing an MoU (memorandum of understanding) with us last year to start an advanced materials research centre. There are several other companies as well that are setting up their niche labs here,” said Balasubramanian.
Among the companies that already have a presence in the park are Saint Gobain, TCS, Amada, BHEL and Caterpillar.
A marketing team is in place to get more companies on board. “We have created two offices: development office and industrial relations office, and populated it with people with 10-15 years of experience in industry. These people are the go-between between the clients and the faculty to communicate exactly what the former expect,” said Balasubramanian.