Innovation cell to guide research projects, startups

Innovation cell to guide research projects, startups

A team of professionals and experts headed by an eminent scientist will soon undertake the responsibility of monitoring and guiding innovative research projects and startups in the field of science and technology at country's higher education institutions.

The Centre is setting up an 'Innovation Cell' at the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to foster 'out-of-box thinking' and give a boost to the government's 'Make in India' programme. 

It will also identify the "future scientists" from among the school students in the country and provide support to mentor them. It would also "strive" to improve India's position in the Global Innovation Index (GII). India was placed at 60th position out of 127 countries the GII-2017.

Among various initiatives to be taken by it to achieve its mandate, the upcoming Innovation Cell will coordinate with the higher education institutions and the schools where Atal Tinkering labs have been set up under a scheme of the NITI Aayog to start innovation clubs in each institution.

The cell, to be headed by an eminent scientist, will function directly under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD).

It will comprise of “young professionals” and experts in the field of innovation, intellectual property, teaching, research, education planning and administration among others, an AICTE official told DH.

“There are innumerable challenges being faced by the humanity in areas such as environment, education, economy, employment entrepreneurship, energy, water, food, security, transportation, materials and manufacturing among others,” the official said.

“Our young bright students have brilliant out of the box innovative ideas. To nurture these young minds and solve problems of the humanity, the Innovation Cell is being set up.”

The cell will work through its regional offices and various innovation cells, to be set up in the educational institutions, to ensure “seamless coordination” between various departments of the central government, state governments and incubators.

While an ‘innovation fund’ will be created to enable the cell support innovative projects and start-ups of the school and college students, higher education institutions will be encouraged to earmark “specific funding” to support innovative ideas, their incubation and spur start-up projects.

“It will help evolve students' start-up policy in schools, colleges and universities, raise funding on the lines of the AICTE’s start-up policy which was launched by the President on November 16, 2016,” the official said.

The innovation clubs will be encouraged to engage with various national and international agencies, government departments, private organisation and the non-government NGOs to ensure that various innovation initiatives are “appropriately” coordinated and “precise data” on success, outcome and impact of these initiatives are collected.

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