When as a student, you get an opportunity to listen to a world leader like the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, you listen. You take notes and hope the learning pays off at some point in your career. But two students from SRM University took things a step further, and it has resulted in the innovative, buzzing, Next Tech Lab.
As Anshuman Pandey and Aditthya Ramakrishnan did their internship at the MIT Media Lab, US, the multidisciplinary nature of research stood out. The inspiration came from a conversation with Kofi Annan about research brain-drain. The concept note that followed sowed the seeds for first of its kind, student-led lab that has won accolades for itself and its members.
Wide scope and growth of the student-led lab
Next Tech Lab came into being at SRM University (now SRM IST), Kattankulathur and has made its strong presence on the sprawling Amaravati campus too. What makes it unique that it is a complete student-led activity with no faculty in charge. However, the multidisciplinary lab has a board of advisors, including industry bigwigs and academics.
Where ideas create winners
Since its inception, Next Tech Lab has been a success story for student-led innovation. It has been behind prototyping of ideas that have been well received. Some of the work that has emanated from the lab has been published in renowned journals across the world. The work has made top intellectual minds sit up and take notice, offer guidance and mentorship.
The results have also been astounding for individual members and teams of students involved with Next Tech Lab. In the past four years, they have won prizes at around 20 top events, including highly followed hackathons. Earlier this year, Aakanksha Chouhan, 2nd Year CSE student and member of Minsky group at Next Tech Lab gave an invited talk at PyCon X Italia in Florence, Italy. She was the youngest invited and funded speaker at the International Conference on Python programming and its applications.
Innovation is the future of all industries, economies and thereby, the Nations and the world. Next Tech Lab, the only Indian organisation to win the QS Reimagine Education 2018 award, is paving the way for it with student-led innovations, one exciting idea and experiment at a time.