Ramgopal V Rao

Group Vice Chancellor, BITS, Pilani

Ramgopal V Rao is the Group Vice-Chancellor for the BITS Pilani campuses in Pilani, Hyderabad, Goa, Dubai and Mumbai. Earlier, he served as the Director of IIT Delhi (2016--2021) and as a Chair Professor for nanoelectronics at IIT Bombay and IIT Delhi. Known for establishing major nanoelectronics programmes in the country, he is also the co-founder of two deep technology startups-Nanosniff and Soilsens-with successful commercial products in the market. He has 480 research papers and over 50 patents (including 20 issued US patents and 15 patents licensed to industries for commercialization) to his credit. His scientific and leadership contributions have been recognized with many awards and honours, including the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in Engineering Sciences, Infosys Prize, and the IEEE EDS Education Award. He is an elected Fellow of IEEE, The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE) and all three major science academies in India. Elected as Fellow in 2009.

Ramgopal V Rao

Session 1C - Special Lecture

Partha P Majumder, Emeritus Professor, ISI, Kolkata

Connecting academic R&D with product innovation: A few case studies and a way forward

India's contribution to the world's R&D is steadily increasing. In certain specialized areas, such as nanotechnology, India is among the top 3 countries in the world in terms of research publications. Despite the low percentage of GDP spending for R&D in India, Indian researchers have excelled in research output when measured in terms of the number of research publications. Although these are excellent achievements, the situation is entirely different when looking at the country's innovation or product development potential. For example, India ranks very poorly on the Global Innovation Index (GIi), and the research undertaken by Indian academic institutions, whether public or private, has not resulted in any major technological breakthroughs of significant commercial value. In this scenario, to make Indian research competitive and sustainable in terms of innovation and product development, a multitude of initiatives need to be undertaken at the institutional and national levels. The talk aims to discuss the changing scenario for product innovation in Indian academic and R&D institutions and highlight how one can accelerate the culture of product innovation in the country through a multi-disciplinary approach.

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