The Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT-H) aims to attract up to $15 million in sponsored research funding in the next two years as the institution is giving new vigor to R&D activities, IITH Director, U B Desai, said.
Since it started functioning in August 2008, IITH has bagged $20 million of sponsored research projects. “We are already working on several large proposals in the realm of Rs 2 crore to Rs 30 crore. In two years, we should hit the $30 million mark; we may reach a target of $35 million in two years,” Desai said.
“We want to be looked upon as a research institution,” he said, adding that IITH wants to contribute significantly in the area of fifth-generation (5G) broadband technology, digital fabrication including 3D printing, internet of things (IoT) and storage of clean storage.
“We want to do a lot of work in 5G. We want to get some of our ideas and patents in 5G standards,” he said, noting, that 5G is expected to be rolled out commercially from 2019-2020.
On digital fabrication and 3D printing, Desai said that IITH would like to give thrust both from academic point of view and also contribute in terms of technology.
“In the area of IoT, we want to make major contribution. We have several projects in R&D that’s working on it,” he said.
Some of the IITH faculty members are already working on it in terms of energy storage in the area of clean energy and distributed grid.
IITH has so far filed 30 patents and Desai said it hoped to add 30 more in the next two years. The Institute, which has crossed the 2000-student mark, has 165 faculty members — with an average of 3.7 PhD students per faculty — a ratio he claimed is better than most research institutes in India.
The Institute is in the process of raising a corpus. “We have formed IITH Foundation in the US that can help us build the corpus,” he said. Stating that IITH is doing a lot of innovation in academics, Desai said, “We really want to create academic programmes with a lot more projects out there.”
“Today, students engage best when they are doing something. They are unable to engage in a situation where they are in the class room and I am talking for one hour. After ten minutes, they are turned off,” he observed.
“We want to create a space or some sort of system where lot more doing is involved. You learn the same principles, theories, concepts, everything but by doing and playing, creating a nice harmony between doing and theory part of it.”
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