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    New Delhi: S&T Minister calls for greater connect between industry and academia

    New Delhi: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Science & Technology, and Ministry of Earth Sciences, Minister of State PMO, and Minister of State Ministry of Personnel and Public Grievances, Dr. Jitendra Singh on Thursday laid stress on building sustainable start-ups with indigenous innovations. Speaking at the inaugural event of “Iconic 75 Industry Connect (‘i’ Connect)” at Jorhat, Assam, he said, the innovative start-ups by the young entrepreneurs must shoulder the responsibility for India’s ascent in the next 25 years, when the country will celebrate 100 years of its Independence as a frontline nation in the world. The industry connect programme aims to explore globally benchmarked technologies and products for making the country self-sustaining and self-generating. While the research establishments in the country are well equipped to develop world-class technologies and products in laboratories, there is a gap in taking these to the market and ultimately to the society, said Dr Jitendra Singh.

    Noting that research and industry share a reciprocal relationship to thrive and grow, the Union Minister urged the industry to have an equal stake in R&D through meaningful investment to make and take world-class products from laboratories to market. He also underlined the need for brand building of the products to carve a niche in Indian and world markets.

    Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Government-Industry Connect, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, that the iconic 75 Industry Connect ('i'-connect) events aim to forging partnerships with industry in 10 thematic /focus areas. It is a consolidated effort of DSIR/CSIR, DBT, DST, MoES, and other scientific departments of the Government of India to reach out to the industry. Coming together of several scientific departments for the cause of science is a phenomenon seldom seen before, and team spirit is the key mantra of the Government, the Minister added.

    Dr Jitendra Singh said the reason to start the series of industry i-Connect from Jorhat in Assam stems from the Prime Minister’s high priority for developing the North-Eastern Region. He reminded that in 2014 itself, Modi had made it clear that the Government’s priority was to bring the underdeveloped regions of the North-East, J&K, and other hill states and island territories at par with the developed regions of the country. He hoped the northeast region would become the destination of future start-ups, entrepreneurship, and new investment. Dr Jitendra Singh lauded the role of scientific organizations in India’s progressive journey and added that the industry knows the intricacies of taking the technologies from labs to land. He said, given this, the forging of partnerships with industry is of paramount importance and called for further strengthening of ties between academia and industry to develop cutting edge technologies and products and deliver them in the shortest possible time frame to realise the vision of Prime Minister for “Samarth” and “Atmanirbhar Bharat”.

    The Minister informed that each 'i'-Connect event would include a variety of programs such as conferences, plenary talks, technical exhibitions, B2B meetings, round table discussions and breakout sessions, enabling the promotion and fostering of businesses.

    The unique series of 75 Industry Connect ('i'-connect) events put up by the Ministries of Science & Technology & Earth Sciences aim to showcase the achievements in diverse S&T areas as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations, commemorating Independent India’s 75 years of progress and the glorious history of its people, culture, and achievements. Dr Jitendra Singh said, that as an outcome of these events, he would look forward to receiving White Papers for thematic areas for collaborative research and technology development. This should have definitive targets and well-thought plans/roadmaps for achieving the same with strict timelines, the Minister stressed.

    In his address, Shri Keshab Mahanta, Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Science and Technology and IT, Assam Government said that the CSIR Compendium of Technologies for Entrepreneurship of Relevance in North East India will help in building technology-based entrepreneurship in the region. 

    Dr V. K. Saraswat, Member NITI Aayog, in his address, said that in the last 7-8 years, India has jumped from 85 to 47th rank in Global Innovation Index, which has created a major cultural shift in the start-up culture in the country. He said the country could further leapfrog in the Innovation Index by bringing more and more industry into the innovation eco-system. 

    Initiate News Agency (INA), New Delhi

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