We want to give India Inc latest R&D facilities: Ashutosh Sharma


The government will set up 15 research centres across the country where companies and startups can look for potentially disruptive ideas, Ashutosh Sharma, secretary, Department of Science & Technology, tells
ET
in an interview.


Edited excerpts:

What is the idea behind setting up research facilities for India Inc?

We feel that even as there is funding and research facilities for IITs, universities, R&D labs, CSIR and DRDO, this is not available for outsiders. Since industry is an important component of growth and innovation, we want to provide companies cutting-edge R&D facilities. In five years, we will set up 15 centres (three every year) across the country for the larger good of India Inc.

Who gets to decide which equipment to buy for Sophisticated Analytical & Technical Help Institute (SATHI)?

A list will be provided by the institute concerned and an expert committee will look at. The instruments should help in characterisation, testing and fabrication work. Finally, some specific instruments would be needed for institutions that will be focussed on specific sectors.

How different is SATHI from facilities available at IITs where researchers can book slots for equipment?

The equipment available right now are not available for outsiders easily. Besides, SATHIs will have high-end instruments that will serve the needs of industry and also startups.

Did DST take inputs from industry?

Yes. Our committee is talking to people from academia and industry. The institute where SATHI centres will come up will provide the building. In return, they will be use these machines up to 20% of the time available. The rest 80% will be for outsiders like MSMEs, industry and startups.

How exactly will Scientific and Useful Profound Research Advancement (SUPRA) help to promote cutting edge research?

There are two aspects of research: quantity and quality. Right now, there is no special scheme for enhancing quality. We are number five in publishing researching publications but we need to improve the qualitative aspect. SUPRA will look at big, disruptive ideas that will also involve risk.





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