Kerala rolls out innovative projects in Science and Technology

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Kochi: Seeking to strengthen its footprints in the science and technology sector, Kerala today rolled out a number of innovative projects before a galaxy of investors and policy-makers attending the Emerging Kerala meet here.

A technology facilitation and transfer centre, a biotech and life science park, a centre for scientific validation of Ayurvedic practices, a coordination unit for science and technology-based skill upgradation in the traditional industries, and Srinivasa Ramanujan Institute for capacity building in basic sciences are some of the projects mooted at the event in the sector.

Presenting the projects, Prof. V. N. Rajasekharan Pillai, Chairman, Sectoral Task Force on Science & Technology, said Kerala needs higher interventions in the field and adoption of global models in research and development. He also called for creation of a platform that would facilitate interaction between industry and R & D centres. This is imperative to ensure a conducive research eco-system, he stressed.

Prof. Pillai said strengthening the S & T infrastructure, attracting youngsters to R & D careers, adopting the globally successful PPP models of industrial R & D labs in the pharma and nano sectors and promoting strong linkages with advanced countries would be the key points for the future growth of Kerala in the sector.

While seeking private partners for development and technical partners, the Department of Science and Technology also presented a bouquet of projects, prepared by different agencies in the sector.

In collaboration with Department of Higher & Technical Education, the Department of Science and Technology will set up Sreenivasa Ramanujam Institute of Basic Sciences (SRIBS) at Pampady in Kottayam. The establishment of this Institute commemorating the 125th Birth Centenary Year of the mathematical genius Sreenivasa Ramanujan was announced by Chief Minister Shri Oommen Chandy on January 13 this year.

While the Department of Science and technology has allocated a budget for the development of the project, there is a lot of scope for both industry and educational institutions to partner in the development of the concept. The Kerala State Council for Science Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) has been tasked with identifying those in the industry and educational institutions who would like to collaborate in the area.

The projects could be developed on the Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis, where private institutions can fund research and set up Industry Chairs, Prof. Pillai said.

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