President APJ Abdul Kalam on Monday unveiled a 'World Knowledge Platform' (WKP) to develop partnership missions beneficial to the world community. WKP will initially connect and network research and development (R&D) institutions, universities and industries using fibre broadband from the partner nations.An underground fibre cable infrastructure already exists between many partners.
In his inaugural address at the second international conference on" India R & D 2006: Mind-to-Market", Kalam said, "I am confident that fibre optic connectivity across the world is only waiting to be lit up to make the world borderless. This knowledge grid will support multitudes of seamless connections supporting both synchronous and asynchronous communication, carrying either text or audio or video. We can then use this network in the academic environments to teach courses online and share expensive equipment remotely."
The president said in the industrial environment, this could be used to design complex systems, even ones that are as complex as an aircraft, in a collaborative way by using virtual prototyping concepts in cyberspace. In such models real-life situations are simulated on computers using advanced software that enables mapping of visual images.
Kalam said the WKP will take up the missions in areas which are of utmost urgency to make the world safe, such as energy, water, healthcare, agriculture and food, knowledge products, automobiles and traditional medicine.
Saroj Kumar Poddar, president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) stressed on the need for closer interaction between the academia and industry. "A pre-requisite for a harmonious working relationship between industry and academia is a clear, cogent, and transparent framework for ownership of the new knowledge, and for fair sharing of the benefits resulting from the commercial success of such joint work," Poddar said.
To sustain creativity and innovation, using the system of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), for fair and equitable sharing of the benefits is a dire necessity in today's environment. This will stimulate innovation and lead to increased private investment in R & D activities," he said.
FICCI, the Department of Science & Technology (DST), the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) and the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) jointly organised the conference.
Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said the journey from mind to the market was "exceptionally complex."
"The mind anywhere in the world must recognize such challenges and find market solutions," he said.