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IIT Madras’ Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research crosses Rs. 1,000 Crore in a year for the first time in history

IIT Madras’ Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research crosses Rs. 1,000 Crore in a year for the first time in history

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) generated over Rs. 1,000 crore in funding and revenue in a financial year for the first time in its history during 2021-22. This sum includes Rs. 768 Crore of funds from projects sanctioned by the State and Central Governments and Rs. 313 Crore in industry consultancy.

These collaborations are facilitated by a dedicated team at the Centre for Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research (ICSR), IIT Madras, which is headed by Prof. Manu Santhanam.

The major projects that drove the surge in funding during 2021-22 include:

– ‘Education through Information and Communication Technology using Direct-to-Home (DTH)’ headed by Prof. K. Mangala Sunder and Prof. Arun Tangirala – Rs. 300.28 Crore

– ‘Centre of Excellence for Road Safety (CoERS)’ headed by Prof. Venkatesh Balasubramanian – Rs. 99.5 Crore

– ‘Speech Technologies in Indian Languages’ headed by Prof. Hema A Murthy – Rs. 50.6 Crore

– ‘Collecting Datasets and Benchmarks for Building Indian Language Technology’ headed by Dr. Mitesh Khapra – Rs. 47 Crore

Highlighting the cutting-edge translational research underway in the Institute, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, said, “The performance of the Centre for Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research is very encouraging and perfectly aligned with the Strategic Plan of IIT Madras. This is a reflection of our increased interaction with funding agencies and industry.”

Highlighting the initiatives taken by IIT Madras to enhance Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research, Prof. Manu Santhanam, Dean (ICSR), IIT Madras, said, “IIT Madras has been the digital education hub for the country for quite some time with the NPTEL programme, and more recently, the Online BSc. The recent Direct-to-Home initiative has brought in a new dimension. The high-calibre faculty from the institute have been pushing the boundaries for the applications of their research, which brings in more and more industry funding.”

Prof. Manu Santhanam added, “Further, the optimal atmosphere and infrastructure created by IIT Madras for high-quality research, and the support services provided by the ICSR and Administration facilitates a smooth conduct of the projects. The consistent performance in the NIRF rankings have also boosted the stature of IIT Madras as a top education and research institution, and that is clearly the major force behind the excellent growth in R&D funding.”

Speaking about this increase in funding in recent years, Prof. Manu Santhanam said, “IIT Madras has clearly emerged a leader in the country in Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research with the large value projects mostly from the Computing and 5G sectors, which are expected to grow further. The total funding typically shows a growth rate y.o.y. of around 5 to 8 percent, but the industry funding has seen a greater spurt in recent years. A key reason for the growth in industry-sponsored funding is the increased contribution in the form of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for research. This is expected to grow significantly in the future. Also, ICSR is planning large-scale industry outreach activities in the near future that will help these numbers further.”

Sharing his thoughts on the key factors driving Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research at IIT Madras, Prof. Ravindra Gettu, who was Dean (ICSR) of IIT Madras between 2018 and 2022, said, “we are seeing the results of a strong strategy that was planned and implemented over the past decade to progress in basic and translational research projects, to emphasize technology transfer to the industry and to be of relevance to the society.”

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