IIT-Roorkee is giving the innovation hub in its campus a new push and has targeted to produce at least 100 entrepreneurs by next year besides shaping up an ecosystem where its alumni network world over would play the role of a mentor in guiding students from “ideation to execution”.
As part of this new vision, the sprawling campus on Friday got a ‘Tinkering Lab’ which was inaugurated by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on the opening day of the college’s technology festival ‘Cognizance 2016’. Parrikar also inspected some of the models on display.
“The Tinkering Lab as the name suggests is a place where students can literally tinker around with ideas, without any fixed agenda or set up, and thus allow their imagination to run riot.
“And, once they have arrived at some shape as to the final output, that can be taken further or incubated,” said Director, IIT-Roorkee, Pradipta Banerji.
In the opening remarks at the festival which concluded on March 20, Banerji said any idea or vision — stands on three legs–theory, practice and innovation — and Parrikar had later added that the “fourth leg” was the ecosystem for innovation, which the government was committed to provide.
The Defence Ministry has already set the ball rolling for DRDO and other organisations under it to collaborate with some of the IITs, NITs, IISc and other top institutions to tap innovation from academic campuses for design and production, Parrikar said.
In his address to a massive gathering of students at the Convocation Hall, which once served as a hangar, Parrikar emphasised the need to think “out of the box”.
“As students’, you must contribute to the India’s growth story and come up with innovative ideas. This hall was a hangar during the Second World War and now it’s a wonderful Convocation Hall, so you see the spirit of innovation is already here,” he said.
Banerji, elaborating the vision in this domain, said labs like the new one, besides the existing incubation centres will “further fuel” the entrepreneurial spirit of the students, and “by next year we expect to produce at least 100 innovators”.
“We have also begun the process to harness our alumni strength which spans from Bombay to Bay Area, and create an ecosystem where they play the role of mentors to these young minds, sharing their own success mantras thus serving as role models and also in guiding them,” he said.
IIT-Roorkee’s parent institution, over 160-year-old Thomason College of Civil Engineering, the pioneering engineering institution in the country was created to train engineers for the construction of the Ganga Canal, considered an engineering marvel to this day.
It was converted into a university soon after independence and in 2001 given the status of an IIT.
“The college has its own legacy and stories to tell and inspire students and with new tinkering lab will add a further push to our goals for continuous innovation.
“The new lab is spread in 12,000 sq ft and has two floors, housing two auditoriums where students can also hold seminars to discuss new ideas,” Banerji said.
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