Interactive session with industrial inventors
Inauguration of the first Industry Academia Summit at SRM University AP, Andhra Pradesh was graced by the presence of eminent personalities- Smt. R.K. Roja, MLA, and Chairperson of APIIC, Sri Vijay Naidu Galla, Chairman-CII Andhra Pradesh, and Sri S Vijay Anand, CEO, Amara Raja Batteries Ltd. representing the Government, Industry, and Academia along with Prof. D Narayana Rao, Pro VC, Dr. D Gunasekaran, Registrar, Dr. GS Vinod Kumar, Convener. This summit is organized in association with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) which provides a platform to bridge the gap between industrial needs and academic research.
The inaugural ceremony began with lamp lighting by distinguished guests. Dr. Narayana Rao welcomed the guests and introduced SRM University, AP as a multidisciplinary research intensive institute. He says, “The students have international exposure and experience through internships, semester abroad programs in partnership with MIT and UC Berkeley. Our university worked on projects such as hardening of gold alloy and 3D printing on gold jewellery in association with Tanishq. Also, SRM Amara Raja Centre of Excellence will be established in SRM AP for developing energy storage devices. SRM AP is also working at the flagship project of developing hydrogen infused railway engines in partnership with the Indian Railways.”
Prof. Narayana Rao also emphasizes on the necessity of this summit. He explains the significance of translating research for the improvement of the society’s lifestyle. He says, “Due to the advent of corona virus in China, the price of paracetamol tablets in India has increased 40% in the last three weeks. This is contributed by our pharmaceutical industry’s substantially dependency on the ingredients imported from China. Therefore, the government requires to initiate efforts to promote and nurture an environment for researchers where they can deliver cost effective solutions to such challenges.” He further says, “It is necessary that the corporates should start relying on and reaching out to the academicians and researchers in India, and not foreign nations. The timeframe of the research should be agreed upon to achieve the desired goals. It is also important for the industrialists to be aware of the expertise of the Indian researchers. There is a need of paradigm shift from foreign reliance to self-reliance. The collaborative model among industry and academia must evolve keeping pace with the dynamism of industry.” Professor Rao also coined the term Corporate Professor and requested the professionals from industries to teach the students and prepare them for the future. He also suggested that the academicians should work in the corporate houses to understand their requirements.
CII was founded in 1985 to encourage collaboration among industrialists who can march forward to self-sufficiency through exchange of knowledge and skills. “CII works as a catalyst to promote entrepreneurial talent pool emerging from the universities”, says Sri Vijay Naidu Galla. He further discusses the gap between knowledge creation and utilization, and also offers solutions to bridge the gap. “Post liberalization in 1991, more private universities have emerged as important players in education and significant women students are excelling at academics. India is targeting at $5trillion economy for which we require a 9-10% growth in GDP. He suggests that the government should facilitate the growth of institutions which can provide quality education by monitoring their performances and offering incentives in the form of specific assistance to the good performers. The industries should incur expenditure on supporting academic institutes that indulges in research work. Innovative ideas should be used to transform the traditional curriculum and align it to the industrial needs. The institutes should create a lifelong learning environment, imbibe values and ability to work as a team, and be able to empathize with the society and understand its needs.
Smt. R. K. Roja shared the initiatives taken by the Government of Andhra Pradesh to inspire the youth to indulge in research. She also discussed the vision of the Govt. of Andhra Pradesh in the next five years in this domain. She has also appreciated SRM-AP’s infrastructure and research initiatives. She believes, “The collaborative research between the industry and universities like SRM-AP will help the youth to do revolutionary work in nation’s progress”. Smt. R. K. Roja shared the initiatives taken by the Government of Andhra Pradesh to inspire the youth to indulge in research. She also discussed the vision of the Govt. of AP in the next five years in this domain. She has also appreciated SRM-AP’s infrastructure and research initiatives. She believes, “The collaborative research between the industry and universities like SRM-AP will help the youth to do revolutionary work in nation’s progress”. She further says, “Our youths already have the qualities that are needed for pathbreaking research. However, the necessary skill-sets that are required in Corporate environment is still missing. The government of AP has already implemented some policies to overcome this. Also, to help and support the industry in every way possible, Government of Andhra Pradesh’s Industry Policy is in place. Single Desk Policy has been introduced to make processes easier for the industry personnel.”
Sri Vijay Anand spoke of harnessing the potential of imaginative students. He says, “In India, infrastructure is not a bottleneck, it is already churning out half a million tech graduates a year. We are abundantly endowed with human capital.” He spoke of a Japanese term called “ikigai”, which identifies with a man who loves what he does, in which he is good at, and what he does provides solutions to society’s problems. He also spoke of emerging trends in the technological sphere such as AI, ML, Bioelectronics, and genome research. “Industry and academics, facilitated by the government needs to exploit the technology and find a common purpose so as to align to each other’s working methodologies”.
In order to uphold the spirit of collaboration between industry and academics, Amara Raja Batteries Ltd. and SRM AP signed MOU to develop Amara Raja Centre for Energy Storage Devices at SRM AP campus.