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Wadhwani Foundation ties up with 5 top schools, AICTE, C-CAMP for research commercialisation

New Delhi: To accelerate the commercialisation of academic innovations, the Wadhwani Foundation on Tuesday partnered with AICTE, IIT Delhi, Bombay, Kanpur and Hyderabad, IISc Bangalore and C-CAMP to establish Wadhwani Innovation Network Centres of Excellence (WIN-COEs).

This collaboration aims to operationalise academic and laboratory research by Indian faculty, students, and researchers into real-world applications that can be sold, used, or implemented in various industries, to create long-term economic value, and benefit society.

Six WIN-COEs—established at the four IITs, IISc Bangalore and C-CAMP—will receive annual funding of up to $1 million each.

The WIN-COEs aim to aid home-grown research and discoveries to create an ecosystem that provides equitable and inclusive solutions from emerging technologies—like advanced AI, Synthetic Biology and Bioengineering, HealthTech, Semiconductors, Quantum Computing, and SpaceTech — while fostering collaboration between industry, universities, research institutions, and the government.

“Emerging technologies like Advanced AI, Synthetic Biology, Quantum Computing, Semiconductors, Healthtech and SpaceTech hold immense promise for inclusive and equitable solutions,” said Ajay Kela, chief executive of the Wadhwani Foundation.

“Our previous collaboration with IIT Bombay funded approximately 100 projects, 10 of which were commercially successful. Establishing WIN COEs will amplify such solutions and catalyse their application in real-world scenarios – setting India on a trajectory of scientific economic progress.”

In addition to the COEs to be established by the four IITs, IISc Bangalore, and C-CAMP, the initiative also collaborates with AICTE’s 13 Indovation Centers, alongside over 100 next-tier academic institutes nationwide.

An additional joint investment with AICTE of $10M annually will support the research and translation activities of the next 100+ Institutes in the country.

Each WIN-COE will support 25 interdisciplinary projects annually, while the 13 AICTE Indovation Centers will collectively support over 1000 projects from the associated institutes each year.

Chairman of AICTE TG Sitharam said, “It is crucial that we instill a mindset of innovation and leadership in our youth. This collaboration advances innovation and entrepreneurship in top institutions, empowering young minds to lead the nation with groundbreaking ideas and a visionary spirit.”

Aligned with the Anusandhan National Research Foundation’s ANRF vision of science-driven growth, the initiative will propel innovations that address pressing socio-economic issues. These solutions will be selected by a national jury of experts. The WIN-COEs will provide funding and a variety of in-kind support to make them commercially viable.

The Wadhwani Foundation signed MoUs with AICTE, IIT Delhi, Bombay, Kanpur, Hyderabad, IISc Bangalore and C-CAMP to establish WIN-COEs.

Source: Economic Times

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