IIT Roorkee gets `10-cr design Innovation Centre
IIT Roorkee gets `10-cr design Innovation Centre

ROORKEE: Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee is going to establish a Design Innovation Center (DIC), named (Navonmesh) at a cost of Rs. 10 crore. Funded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India, It will address issues of the Himalayan Region using resources available locally as well as National Priorities.

The objective is to develop innovative designs primarily to addressthe local issueswhich need low cost solutions and to nurture and advance the culture of design and innovation in the region to improve the quality of life.

Highlighting the importance of this Center to the Himalayan Region and the country, Prof Ajit K Chaturvedi, Director, IIT Roorkee, said, “I am happy that IIT Roorkee has been selected for setting up a Design Innovation Center. We already have an ecosystem in place and I am sure our faculty members and students will take full advantage of the frameworkprovided byDIC.”

“The DIC aims to produce region-specific products and will support innovative proposals for product development. It has also some unique outreach programs such as COMAL (Common MAn to Laboratory), under which DIC will connect with the common man, who often has innovative ideas, but usually gets deprived of proper mentoring, to takehisideas to reality. I am sure the Design Innovation Center, along with the Spoke partners, will focus on the specific problems of the region which will benefitthe society,” said Prof Ajit K Chaturvedi.

The DIC has already identified several products that are going to be developed. They include: 

 Crop harvester for terrains,
 Green furniture based on forest waste materials,
 Assistive device differently-abled persons.
 High yield loom design for Uttarakhand local weavers 
 Lab-on-chip
 Inclusive Education Kit

The DIC will also take up Industrial Consultancy and Collaborative Activities besides conducting Workshops/Seminars and U2U (Udbhavan to Utpadan). Speaking about the vision of this Center, Prof ManoranjanParida, Dean (Sponsored Research and Industrial Consultancy), IIT Roorkee, said, “The DIC will evolve a unique model of focusing on the development of a culture of collaborative partnership with society, industry and other stakeholders to develop state-of-the-art outcomes.Addressing the needs of differently-abled persons is among the priority areas.”

The MHRD approved the proposal of IIT Roorkee to establish the DIC under the National Initiative of the Ministry for setting up of Design Innovation Center, Open Design School and National Design Innovation Network. Mr. Krishna Rao who just graduated (B.Tech., Production and Industrial Engineering), IIT Roorkee, said, “The P2P (Prayogshala to Prayogkshetra) initiative gives students a chance to learn and develop productsfrom the research work that they've done for their final year project.”

The DIC is a path to ‘Make in India.’ It will act as a mediator to help students and researchers go the extra mile forward and give a physical form to their ideas, help them realise how their products will perform in the market, added Mr. Krishna Rao.

The proposed DIC will operate in the ‘Hub and Spoke’ Model, in which IIT Roorkee will be the Hub Institute; three other premier Institutions of the region – National Institute of Technology Uttarakhand (NITUK), Indian Institute of Management Kashipur (IIM-Kashipur) and College of Technology, G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology (GBPUA&T), Pantnagar, shall participate as the Spokes. 

The other institutions have also developed their specific proposals –to address local problems. As per guidelines of MHRD, the Spokes are allocated one-third of the total budget. 

The proposed activities of the DIC will be carried out under three major categories:

(i)    Supporting innovative product-based projects of faculty members and students,
(ii)    Academic activities, and 
(iii)    Outreach activities.