IIT Kanpur, DRDO join forces to establish DIA Centre of Excellence, to foster research in next-gen defence technology | Education - Hindustan Times

IIT Kanpur, DRDO join forces to establish DIA Centre of Excellence, to foster research in next-gen defence technology

By, New Delhi
May 30, 2024 08:25 PM IST

The latest move comes in line with DIA CoEs set up by DRDO in key academic institutions in across India. Here is how the new facility will play a big role.

IIT Kanpur, in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organisation, inaugurates DRDO-Industry-Academia Centre of Excellence

IIT Kanpur, DRDO join hands to establish DIA Centre of Excellence in a bid to foster research in next-gen defence technology. (HT file image)
IIT Kanpur, DRDO join hands to establish DIA Centre of Excellence in a bid to foster research in next-gen defence technology. (HT file image)

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur has joined hands with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to establish a DRDO-Industry-Academia Centre of Excellence (DIA CoE) on its campus for interdisciplinary research in next-generation defence technologies.

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A press release issued by the institution stated that the latest offering is in line with the DIA CoEs set up by DRDO in key academic institutions in the country through which it is building an ecosystem to facilitate technology development in the academic environment through experienced faculty and bright scholars, in conjunction with the efforts of the different scientists from DRDO laboratories.

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As per the release, the new center will spearhead focused research initially in identified research and development verticals. These include:

  • Printing on Flexible Substrates to build devices and systems based on thin films for strategic applications.
  • Advanced Nanomaterials to provide a fundamental contribution to material selection and design.
  • Accelerated Material Design and Development to reduce the number of actual trial experiments while reaching optimal solutions via high throughput experiments.
  • High Energy Materials to focus on the modelling of high-performance explosives and performance prediction of metalized explosives.
  • Bio-engineering to develop technologies for applications ranging from sensing hazardous agents to wound healing.

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Mr. Sanjay Tandon, former director of the Institute of Technology Management at Mussoorie, is serving as the Director of DIA CoE at IIT Kanpur. He oversees its strategic initiative and collaborative endeavours.

Notably, DRDO will fund the projects and establish key technical facilities and modern infrastructure required to enable and boost R&D programs under identified verticals.

It may be mentioned here that the journey of the establishment of DIA CoE at IIT Kanpur started in 2022 through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed during Def-Expo-2022 at Gandhinagar.

The DIA CoE at IIT Kanpur has been jointly inaugurated by Dr Samir V Kamat, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and DRDO Chairman, and Prof Manindra Agarwal, Director of IIT Kanpur, in the presence of Dr Subrata Rakshit, DS & Director General (Technology Management), Prof Tarun Gupta, Dean, R&D at IIT Kanpur, and other dignitaries.

Others present included research coordinators from IIT Kanpur, senior scientists from DRDO Labs, and faculty members of IIT Kanpur.

Prof Manindra Agrawal, Director of IIT Kanpur, shed light on the importance of the collaborative effort and pointed out that the need for advancement of technology in the defence sector is more than ever to become Atmanirbhar Bharat in the true sense of the word.

To achieve this goal, Prof Agarwal said that the DRDO, Academia, and Industry must join hands together.

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“The establishment of Industry-Academia Centres of Excellence by DRDO is an apt step in this direction. With the strong R&D expertise and state-of-the-art facilities in flexible electronics, nanomaterials, materials science and engineering, high energy, and bioengineering, IIT Kanpur is well poised to contribute to this collaborative effort,” he said.

Dr. Samir V Kamat, Secretary Dept of Def R&D and Chairman DRDO, said that the Centre will pave the path for indigenization of the various strategic technologies in the long-term, making the defence sector self-reliant and sustainable, thereby accelerating the development of new materials for futuristic defence systems, which may otherwise have required 10-15 years.

Dr. Kamat said, “DRDO and IIT Kanpur will undertake collaborative research in identified technology domains to fulfill the long-term needs of defence.”

Dr Subrata Rakshit highlighted that the DIA CoEs will serve as Centres for R&D to address the future needs of Defence. He said, “They will serve to synergize the domain knowledge of DRDO Scientists, the research capacities inherent in our premium academic institutions, and the drive of our industries to commercialize emerging home-grown defence technologies. The inauguration and first governing council meeting marks an important milestone in this journey.”

Prof. Tarun Gupta, meanwhile, highlighted that the IIT Kanpur has established itself as a leading institute in technology development, translation, and transfer to both industry and Government entities, over the years.

He said that the opening of DIA CoE at IIT Kanpur is the right step as it will foster valuable collaboration with defence labs in the country and will enable the institution to deliver strategically valuable tools and devices.

Dr. N Ranjana, Director DFTM of DRDO, emphasized that the long-term research in defence technology isn’t about quick fixes, but about planting seeds for future security.

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