Industry Players Should Start Taking the Lead in Implementing PPP Programs in India

IIT Mandi iHub and HCI Foundation concluded the first edition of its flagship “HIVE Conclave” held at Hotel Pride Plaza, New Delhi. The event marked a pioneering milestone in fostering collaboration and convergence between researchers and industry professionals in India. The event, the first-of-its-kind in the country, witnessed enthusiastic participation from an array of researchers and industry professionals and successfully achieved its goal in enabling the ideal convergence between research and industry to address real-life problems through the aid of technology.

The event witnessed a series of insightful discussions, presentations, and talks from eminent personalities from across sectors like industry, research, and Government. It further provided an effective platform for researchers and industry to gain a deeper understanding of market realities and needs. The theme of the conclave was “Leading through Problem Statement: Following it with Solution Pitch!” The association between the research community and the industry professionals showcased the potential for mutual support, alignment, and collaboration which could lead to accelerated and meaningful outcomes, in turn contributing positively towards the socio-economic progress of our nation. 

The conclave began with a Networking Dinner on November 17th, setting the stage for collaborative engagement, backed by the idea that collaborative efforts are the best way forward to provide industry stakeholders, including startups, with a research-based foundation for their ideas and products, while simultaneously enabling researchers to gain insights into market realities and needs.

The Inaugural Address by Prof. Laxmidhar Behera, Director, IIT Mandi, on November 18th, marked the official commencement of the event; he congratulated IIT Mandi iHub for its Skill Development Program which is not only focusing on skilling but ensuring employment after skill training. Prof. Behera further shared, “IIT Mandi is at the forefront of Human-Computer Interaction, with numerous exciting developments underway. Our focus extends beyond theoretical research to tangible marketable products. In collaboration with a consortium of researchers, we are driving four grand projects, including an innovative artificial scheme, a bio-manufacturing initiative for printable food, and the crucial development of a Made-in-India air ambulance. These projects showcase our commitment to addressing real-world challenges. Beyond these, our diverse projects span non-invasive diabetic diagnosis, smart yoga mats, and more. The Technology Innovation Hub empowers youth, boasting a 100% success rate, with 180+ students having being trained and securing jobs. I am confident that today’s conclave shall play an instrumental role in translating visionary ideas into impactful products, learning from those who have navigated the same path.”

Dr. Akhilesh Gupta, Sr. Advisor, DST and Secretary of Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), who graced the occasion as Chief Guest, said, “In public-private-partnership programs implemented across India in the recent years, the industry has always been playing a supporting role, whereas majority of these initiatives were led by academia. However, it should go the other way around to be successful and impactful – it’s important for today’s startups and other industry players to take the lead in terms of creating innovation and impact. We have over one lakh startups in India today, out of which only around 3500 are into deep-tech; this too has to be increased and focused upon so that India can lead globally in disruption in the near future.”

Mr. Somjit Amrit, CEO, IIT Mandi iHub and HCI Foundation, setting the context of the event theme said, “Indian-centric datasets across problem statements is the key to success in the Human-Computer Interaction endeavors in the Indian Market. IIT Mandi iHub firmly believes in this. This was clearly indicated in our theme for the conclave ‘Leading through Problem Statement;Following it with Solution Pitch!’, while highlighting that ‘Outcome and Impact are not Synonyms.’”

The event also featured a series of impactful addresses and talks, including a Keynote Address by Hon. Prof. M Balakrishnan, IIT Delhi, focusing on the “simplicity fostered by user-centric designs”. Prof. Anirudha Joshi, IIT Bombay, spoke on “Design technology solutions for and with Indian emergent users.” Lt. Gen. Dr. Anil Kapoor (AVSM, VSM Retd.) shared insights on “Human-Machine Interface - A Design Thinking Perspective from Lab to Market.”

The HIVE Conclave also showcased numerous innovative presentations and case studies, covering groundbreaking topics such as - "Beyond the Line of Sight, Human-Drone Interface" by Dr. Satadal Ghosh, IIT Madras, and "Edible customized content creation through 3D printing" by Dr. Sumit Murab, IIT Mandi. Dr. Gaurav Jaswal presented a real-life case study on "Driver Alertness Management System," emphasizing its journey from research to market. Additionally, there were impactful presentations, including "A full lifecycle of tumour detection from screening to diagnosis" by Dr. Vishakha Bharati, UE Lifesciences, and Dr. Sukomal Dey, IIT Pallakad; and "A Human-Device Intervention for Stress Management" by Dr. Amita Jain, NSUT Delhi, and Priyanshu Priyam, AyuSpectra.

Finally, in a bid to ensure that industry perspectives don’t go unspoken about, there were talks by various industry stalwarts as well. Anil Viswas, General Manager, Open Innovation - Startups, Samsung Research, provided a practitioner's viewpoint on “Business to Consumer based innovative practices over the lifecycle of prototype to product.” Mr. KR Venkatadri, CTO, Tata Chemicals Ltd., discussed the "Collaboration between Research Institutes and Industry – Benefits & Models. Mr. Sridharan Thyagrajan, Founder of Bumo3dr (Singapore), and Mr. Anu Pillai, Digital Partner at Wipro, discussed the "Use of experience technologies in solving real-life problems."

In all, there were 5 presentations consisting of collaborative efforts from both the research and industry sides. The value and potential impact from these presentations were judged by an esteemed panel of experts, and the winning presenters were rewarded with a cash prize.  The event concluded with the announcement of results and a vote of thanks, celebrating the successful collaboration between research and industry. HIVE Conclave 2023 has set a precedent for future events that aim to address real-world problems through technology-oriented solutions.


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