Collaboration between the industry and academia is the first step towards improvement and innovation. This partnership is fundamental to ensure industrial relevance in academic research. To address challenges related to competitiveness, enterprises often look beyond industry partners to academic contributors for innovation.
In this article, we list down the top industry-academia collaborations in 2019:
The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru joined hands with global IT major Wipro in order to develop autonomous systems, robotics, 5G, and indigenous Metal 3D printing (additive manufacturing) machines. The main focus of this collaboration is to carry out the research and development of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, IoT, machine learning, visual computing and other such.
In March 2019, IIT Kharagpur signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with one of the leading global IT company, Wipro. The aim behind this collaboration is to create industry-focused applied research in the areas of 5G and AI. Both the organisations will focus on AI research applicable in healthcare, education and retail sectors as well as in domains such as climate change and cybersecurity.
Samsung India recently inaugurated a digital academy at IIT Guwahati. The academy is ambitioned to train more than 300 people in the next three years on cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, among others. Besides IIT Guwahati, Samsung India has also set up innovation centres at IIT Hyderabad, IIT Kanpur, IIT Delhi, IIT Kharagpur, and IIT Roorkee.
IIT Madras has been doing a lot of researchers in 5G by setting up testbed facilities for technology providers and other such. Recently, the data network organisation, Sterlite Technologies joined hands with IIT Madras for conducting research and development in 5G. The company will sponsor a Chair Professorship in 5G technology at the institute who will work towards accelerating the advancements in 5G by unifying IIT Madras’ research and domain knowledge with STL’s industry expertise in 5G.
Furthermore, in March this year, the institute collaborated with the sports news website ESPNcricinfo and launched a tool called Superstats. This tool is a combination of statistics metrics which use data science to provide context to every event. It will help in analysing cricket statistics with the help of data science. Also, the institute has tied up with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to nurture and promote innovative green start-ups across the country. The collaboration will facilitate brainstorming sessions between academia and industry to create deep-tech and disruptive research ideas and help start-ups gain industry access for pilot demonstrations of their cleantech ideas.
Recently, IIT Hyderabad signed Memoranda of Understanding with four Japanese institutions of National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience in order to research in areas including earthquake engineering with a focus on numerical simulation. This will undertake a number of programmes such as joint research activities, faculty exchange, joint seminars, internship opportunities, and other such academic activities.
In June, IIT Kanpur signed an MoU with the Indian multinational subsidiary of the Mahindra Group, Tech Mahindra. The aim behind the collaboration is to conduct joint research in the domain of cybersecurity. According to reports, through this partnership, Tech Mahindra will bring real-world industry exposure to students of IIT Kanpur and work closely with the institute on research projects to develop and foster an environment to deal with automation in cybersecurity and to enhance digital resilience of critical national infrastructure.
In collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), IIT Delhi is going to set up a space technology centre at the institute premises. The aim behind the collaboration is to contribute to the space technology research.
The IIT Roorkee recently signed an MoU with APL Apollo Tubes Limited (APL Apollo) which is an ERW steel pipes manufacturer. The moto behind this collaboration is to provide a platform for research and training facilities to both IIT Roorkee students and APL Apollo personnel, besides recruitment.
Also, in August this year, the institute collaborated with tech giant Microsoft to augment learning on quantum computing by means of conducting lectures on quantum computing for a full semester. The course has been structured by IIT Roorkee and Microsoft which will provide the students, access to Q# Programming Language practical examples, Microsoft Quantum Development Kit and Microsoft Quantum Faculty.
A few months ago, a team of IIT Bombay students collaborated with Tata Motors to develop an electric race car called the ”EVoK.” Tata Motors’ Electric Vehicle Business Unit (EVBU) has been supporting the IIT Bombay Racing team for the past four years as a key sponsor and this time the team competed at the prestigious international competition, Formula Student UK 2019. The team achieved an all-time best overall rank of 30 out of the 118 participating teams and secured the third position amongst the teams competing in the electric car space.