The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has sanctioned Rs 7.25 crore to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi to establish a Technology Innovation Hub (TIH) at the institute. This is under the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS).
The major focus of the TIH, claims the institute, will be on human-computer interaction (HCI) research, where projects will focus on design and development of computer technology (interfaces) and the study of interaction between humans (users) and computers. Also, the TIH will focus on human resource and skill development, entrepreneurship and collaboration with other leading institutions.
As a field of research, human-computer interaction (HCI) is situated at the intersection of computer science, behavioural sciences, design and media studies among others. Some of the technologies will focus on solving problems of the Himalayan region.
The TIH will develop tools, education material, hands-on experiments with specialised tool kits, connecting with existing innovation ecosystems. It will interlink with different stakeholders and connect with other initiatives of the Government of India by providing an innovation platform for schools, colleges and advanced technical training institutes in the targeted areas.
Through the hub, the institute aims to develop a technology interface for challenges concerning landslides, environment (including climate change), air pollution, agriculture, cybersecurity, defence forces, healthcare, and forensics.
Several workshops and seminars will be organised to generate skilled manpower in the field of HCI. The institute aims to collaborate with universities and organisations in India and abroad as well as create a startup ecosystem in the field.
The TIH will also work on the development and evaluation of interfaces of IoT-based Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), where CPS contains physical elements (sensors) for collecting data and cyber elements (analytics and visualisation software) for alerting/ educating people for directed action.