Madras University looking for tie-ups with Industry

The University of Madras is looking at partnerships with industry for a proposed Rs. 100-crore “Science Techno Park,” University Vice-Chancellor G. Thiruvasagam said on Wednesday.

Inaugurating a seminar on “Innovation for High Performance” organised by the Madras Management Association (MMA), the University and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Mr. Thiruvasagam said the park was envisaged as a joint venture involving the industry, scientific community, the University faculty and students.

The University already had established a Rs.3 crore Technology Business Incubator (TBI) as an interface for industry-academia collaboration with funding from the Department of Science and Technology. However, the facility was underutilised and the 20 innovators it had created was not enough, Mr. Thiruvasagam said. The facility should target generating at least 100 innovators every year, he said.

Pointing to the example of Japan which had created a big industry out of translating technical literature into Japanese, the Vice-Chancellor called for a similar exercise to make available scientific knowledge in Tamil. He sought support from organisations such as the MMA for translation projects on these lines for the benefit of Tamil students.

In his key-note address, L. R. Natarajan, vice-president Titan Industries (Jewellery), said innovation was not a one-off process but a culture inculcated within an organisation. For innovation to become organisational culture, innovation had to be top-driven, based on trust and transparency, fear of failure had to be removed and a rewards and recognition system put in place for employees, he said.

R. Raghuttama Rao, MMA president, said innovation was not always driven by profit or technology; it was also about challenging convention, achieving scale at frugal cost and inducing behavioural change in people.

G. Gangi Reddy, managing director, TBI, University of Madras and R. Vijayakumar, MMA executive director spoke.

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