IIT Madras talks innovation: Connects faculty with alumni and startups in sunny California | education | Hindustan Times
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IIT Madras talks innovation: Connects faculty with alumni and startups in sunny California

IIT Foundation organised the Summer 2017 Summit at Santa Clara in California to enable faculty and alumni to get together and chalk out future plans, discuss innovations and more

education Updated: Jul 03, 2017 19:13 IST
The way forward: Prominent academics, faculty and former students of IIT Madras at the Foundation Series - Summer 2017 Summit at Santa Clara, California.
The way forward: Prominent academics, faculty and former students of IIT Madras at the Foundation Series - Summer 2017 Summit at Santa Clara, California.(Sourced)

It was all about making plans for the future, discussing innovations, reaching out to alumni, addressing problems and looking for opportunities that could make an impact globally. For the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, this could only happen in sunny California.

The Foundation Series - Summer 2017 Summit at Santa Clara, California, organised by the IIT Foundation, recently brought together the IIT Madras community, faculty, start-ups and alumni to collaborate with each other and with innovators in industry, academia, and think tanks.

Discussions ranged around technologies that enable Industry 4.0; capturing data and data sources (research on sensors and other devices that help capture data), communicating this data between machines and other devices/sensors/data sources; data analytics, modelling and simulation to use this data effectively. Also analysed was the actual manufacturing/automation/making process that is the end result (3D printing, creation of new applications, tools, devices, products, robots, systems such as Internet of Things or IOTs ).

Professor Bhaskar Ramamurthi, director, IIT Madras, addressing the Foundation Series - Summer 2017 Summit held at Santa Clara, California (Sourced)

In the first such event organised by the IIT Madras Foundation, 15 academics and seven start-up founders from IIT Madras took part along with 22 industry leaders from the Bay Area.

In his address to the gathering, Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi, director, IIT-Madras, shared news of the institute being ranked the best engineering institute in India by the National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF), two years in a row. It also earned the highest revenues through consultancy projects for any engineering institute; and ranked among the top research groups in the world.

“While the event was a grand success and we may have exceeded the expectations of many, we also learned a lot. We need to use this as a launchpad, build on this momentum, and take this to the next level in the coming years,” he later said after the event concluded.

Calling the meet a huge success, Prof R Nagarajan, dean, international and alumni relations, IIT Madras, said it would be replicated in the future in other cities where IIT Madras alumni were present in significant numbers.

One of the sessions at the Summit (Sourced)

“While the director (Prof Bhaskar) and myself have been travelling abroad and meeting local alumni, this is the first time an event of such magnitude has been organised, enabling direct interaction with IIT-Madras faculty members who are active researchers in Industry 4.0,” he said

Other highlights were an IIT-Madras faculty panel elaborating on their research in healthcare technology, industrial consultancy and sponsored research and the interdisciplinary laboratory for data sciences.

This was followed by six interactive panel discussions on medicine, artificial intelligence and analytics, buildings and infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing and energy. These panels had a blend of industry experts and venture capitalists offering their view of the innovative ideas and solutions attracting venture capital funding, while the IIT-Madras faculty members articulated the key research areas and problems they were trying to address.

Other faculty members from IIT-Madras included Prof Nandan Sudarsanam, Prof Rahul Marathe, Prof N Ramesh Babu, Prof Shankar Narasimhan, Prof Raghunathan Rengaswamy, Prof Ashwin Mahalingam, Prof Mahesh Panchagnula, Prof Sankara J Subramanian, Prof R Krishnakumar, Prof B Ravindran, Prof Mohanasankar Sivaprakasam and Prof Sathyan Subbiah.