The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee, was placed top of the table among the most innovative Indian research institutions in 2021 by the apex industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
IIT Roorkee was recognised for excellence in innovation along with 32 other research and academic institutions as well as companies in the large, medium, and small segments at the twenty-seventh DST-CII Technology Summit 2021, held virtually on 16-17 December.
The organisations were awarded as part of the eighth CII Industrial Innovation Awards 2021.
IIT Roorkee, which turned 175 years old last month, won the top honour among research institutions for the second year in a row.
“IIT Roorkee gets the award for developing innvovative (sic) visco-elastic Energy Dissipating Link Elements for Earthquake resistant housing construction, Nitrogen-Doped Reduced Graphene Oxide (N-rGO) for High Performance Supercapacitor and Novel hybrid adsorbent for simultaneous removal of arsenic and fluoride from contaminated water,” a CII statement said.
IIT Madras and the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services came in second and third, respectively, behind IIT Roorkee in the top research institutions segment for the year 2021.
Last year, IIT Roorkee was awarded for its “innovation quotient” for developing the Prana-Vayu ventilator, antimicrobial mask and personal protective equipment kits, and its cancer detection tool.
Even IIT Madras was recognised last year. It was awarded for “disruptive innovations” in 2020 for developing VitalSens.
Kumaraguru College of Technology, Thiagarajar College of Engineering, and Paavai Engineering College earned top recognition this year for innovation under the ‘other engineering colleges’ sub-category.
Thiagarajar Polytechnic College was the only polytechnic institution to be awarded.
Kumaraguru College was awarded for using natural fibre to develop innovative eco-friendly sanitary napkins.
The pharmaceutical company Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd was adjudged the most innovative company of the year.
Dr Reddy’s “helped serve unmet needs through COVID portfolio and differentiated generics,” according to the CII statement.
Further, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) was given a Special Award for fostering innovation through industry-academia collaboration.
The “Grand Jury” this year comprised 13 members, which included former CII president S Gopalakrishnan, IIT Hyderabad founding director Professor U B Desai, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Professor Gagandeep Kang, former Indian Space Research Organisation Professor Y S Rajan, and the National Institute of Technology, Trichy, director Dr Mini Shaji Thomas.
Innovation culture, innovation management, inputs to innovation, and results of innovation were stated as assessment criteria to pick out awardees.
“As we look forward to creating a $10 trillion economy…, innovation will play an important role, innovation combined with entrepreneurship will play an important role, and we will have to create new intellectual properties, new products, new business models, and hence, research will play an important role,” Gopalakrishnan, who is also the chairman of the CII Industrial Innovation Awards, said at the virtual awards ceremony.
“So, to me,” he added, “the focus on research, innovation, entrepreneurship is the key for us to achieve our goal of a $10 trillion economy.”
He identified cloud computing, internet of things, energy storage, robotics, and artificial intelligence as some of the areas that will drive the innovation economy.
Secretary to the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, Dr S Chandrasekhar, who took charge recently, urged CII members to “handhold” innovators.
“I request all the CII members: please handhold, depending on the size of your company, maybe one innovation idea or a dozen or a 100, depending on the depth of the company’s pockets, so that more innovations become translatable. Otherwise, innovations remain as innovations,” he said.
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