Institutes across the country have been expressing concern over Indias annual research funding being a pittance compared to those in China or the US but at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay,there has been almost four-fold jump in annual research funding in six years.
According to figures from the institutes research and development (R&D) office,the total funding in 2007-08 was Rs 73.11 crore and is expected to cross Rs 250 crore for the 2012-13 fiscal.
In 2007-08,the funding received from government agencies was Rs 56.8 crore,while industry contribution was Rs 13.6 crore and international organisations pitched in with Rs 2.70 crore. In sharp contrast,we received Rs 162.68 crore from government agencies in 2011-12,Rs 18.33 from industry and Rs 8.93 from international organisations, said an official.
The R&D office said funding from government agencies has increased considerably in the last two years and the trend can be attributed to funding of a few major projects in frontier/ mission areas such as solar energy,photovoltaic,aerospace innovation,and educational technology.
Some of these projects are multi-institutional,which includes industry as consortium members, said the official.
Faculty members said the numbers are encouraging and show the government and industry are increasingly looking at IITs for both cutting-edge research and deliverables.
The numbers started going up from 2009-10 when the annual funding went up by nearly 41% as compared to the previous year,that is from Rs 72.76 crore in 2008-09 to Rs 102.25 crore in 2009-10. Since then,it has seen an upward trend. We have started reaching out to the industry more. Technology events like TechConnect also provide a good platform to showcase our innovations to the outside world, said a faculty member.
The figures also show that akin to a trend across the country,the contribution from industry has been slow and not yet significant.
The funds received from the industry have not increased much.
From Rs 13.6 crore in 2007-08 and Rs 14.28 in 2008-09,it went up marginally to Rs 15.37 crore in 2010-11 and Rs 18.33 crore in 2011-12.
R&D at most Indian industries is not as significant as industries abroad. Subsequently,contribution of Indian industries still continues to be much less than whats desired, said another faculty member.
IIT Bombay R&D funding
Financial Govt. Indian International Total
Year Agencies Industries Organisation
2007-08 56.8 13.6 2.7 73.11
2008-09 52.07 14.28 6.39 72.76
2009-10 81.49 13.76 6.99 102.25
2010-11 154.91 15.37 9.5 179.79
2011-12 162.68 18.33 8.93 189.95