IIT Delhi to set up PhD start-up incubators to encourage advancement in deep tech

IIT Delhi also has planned to attract foreign students through fellowships and assistantships.

Seeking to encourage research in advanced computational systems and other deep-technologies, the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi has set the ball rolling to establish a PhD start-up incubator, work on which is likely to begin this month.

IIT Delhi

IIT Delhi

IIT-Delhi Director V Ramgopal Rao, interacting with reporters in the Senate Room said, the target would be to incubate at least 20 ideas in the first year after its inception.

The announcement was made by IIT-Delhi, buoyed by its inclusion among the three public academic institutions, which were granted 'Institutions of Eminence' status by the HRD Ministry on July 10, enabling them to get full autonomy and special incentives to project them as "world-class universities".

"The start-up incubator would be for those people who have finished their PhD and wish to work on an innovative idea on harnessing deep-technologies. Idea is to encourage research and innovative work in advanced computational systems, like artificial intelligence, data sciences, blockchain technologies, among other fields," Rao said.

"The incubator would come up in the Sonepat campus of IIT-Delhi," he said.

Anil Wali, Managing Director of Foundation For Innovation And Technology Transfer (FITT), an industrial interface organisation at IIT-D, said, this incubator would be different from incubators existing in various IITs for encouraging start-ups by students at undergraduate level.

"This would focus on key challenges around deep-technologies and look for a viable business plan that brings in innovation in the field," he said.

"The programme would be announced at a national-level, inviting applications. And, then the plan is to have a two-stage screening process to select the best candidates who are serious about working on deep-technology ideas," Wali said.

The IIT-D director said the incubator facility at Sonepat campus would not only help them to build prototypes but also let them demonstrate it, say if its from the field of nanotechnology, the prototype developed would also be demonstrated.

As part of the Institutions of Eminence grant, the HRD Ministry will be providing IIT-D with "Rs 1,000 crore over five years", which the institute would supplement with internal revenue generation mainly through R&D grants and other mechanisms, he added.

"We hope to raise another Rs 1,500 crore in the five years, so a total of Rs 2,500 cr would be spent by IIT-D on enhancing its research facilities, infrastructure, and outreach," he said.

Rao also said, a technology park is currently operational in the Sonepat campus and another one will come up in the Delhi campus.

"We are also planning to introduce diploma programmes and industry-sponsored Masters and PhD programmes," he said.

Besides, IIT-D also has planned to attract foreign students through fellowships and assistantships.

Joint PhD programmes with top universities in Australia, Taiwan, Canada are in various stages of finalisation, he said.

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