Thursday, 25 April, 2024

India’s first Research Park in IIT Madras

Navneet Kumar Gupta


The IIT Madras Research Park is a national pioneering effort to catalyze collaborative research between industry & academia and enable technological innovation and nurture entrepreneurship. It houses the R&D and innovation wings of industry majors engaged in collaborative research and technology transfer with the faculty.

Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, visited IIT Madras, Research Park on 25th March. He interacted with start-ups incubated by IIT Madras and witnessed demonstrations of products developed by them.

His Excellency Dr.Frank Walter Steinmeier (left) being welcomed by Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director IIT-Madras

The visit of the Federal President has its roots in the long and successful association between IIT Madras and Germany and the fruitful collaboration between Indian and German higher education landscape. Among the first IITs to come up in the country, IIT Madras was established with German assistance, way back in 1959.

He was received by Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, Prof. Ravindra Gettu, Dean (Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research), IIT Madras, Mr. Rajendra Mootha, COO of IIT Madras Research Park and Dr. Tamaswati Ghosh, CEO, IIT Madras Incubation Cell, among others.

IIT Madras Research Park hosts four Incubators (IIT-M Incubation Cell, Rural Technology Business Incubator (RTBI), Bio-incubator and Med Tech incubator) and several of IITM’s Centres of Excellence/Research Laboratories. It was modelled along the lines of successful Research Parks in Stanford University, MIT and Harvard University.

32 start-ups have raised Rs 707 cr. 

About 140 start-ups have been part of IIT-M Incubation Cell, out of which 32 start-ups have raised Rs 707 crore (US$ 111 million) from investors. Furthermore, 63 IIT-M incubated start-ups are currently in the market, with a cumulative revenue of Rs 133 crore (US$21 million) generated in financial year 2016-17.

President Dr.Frank Walter Steinmeier visited IIT-Madras Research Park on 25th March

IIT Madras is home to India’s first university-driven Research Park, which was the perfect place for the Federal President to interact with young entrepreneurs, researchers and faculty, witness their innovations and see how the bridge between education and economy is being made. Before arriving in Chennai, he visited New Delhi and Varanasi where he interacted with students as well.

Director of IIT Madras Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi said, “We are honoured that the President of the Germany has chosen to visit the IIT Madras Research Park to interact with our start-ups and see for himself the strides taken by our Institute set up with German assistance.  The German influence was instrumental in the strong collaborations IIT Madras developed with industry even from its early years, culminating in the country’s  first university- based Research Park and innovation ecosystem of global scale.”

Dr. Steinmeier was accompanied by Dr. Martin Ney, German Ambassador to India; Ms. Mukta Dutta Tomar, Indian Ambassador to the Germany;  Mr. Stephan Steinlein,  Secretary of State, Foreign Office, Germany, Mr. Christian Hirte, Parliamentary State Secretary, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Germany, and Mr. Ralph Brinkhaus, MP in the German Bundestag and Deputy Chairman of CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group besides other high ranking officials and dignitaries.

140 Start ups incubated at IIT Madras

Some of the start-ups incubated at IIT Madras Incubation Cell gave a demonstration of their products to His Excellency Dr. Steinmeier. The start-ups include:

  • Pi-Beam (Manufacturing solar/electric hybrid three wheelers)
  • Neomotion (Innovative wheelchair for people with disability and elderly)
  • Fabheads (3D printers, with special focus on carbon fiber products)
  • Planys (compact underwater robots for immersed structure inspection & environmental survey)
  • Detect (technology solution to the inspection needs of energy sector focusing mainly on the pipeline integrity management)
  • Skillveri (multi-skill virtual training simulators for painting and welding),
  • Merkel Haptics (first haptics company in India exclusively for touch related technologies, pioneer in providing 3D touch technology solutions)

He also visited the Healthcare Technology Innovation Centre (HTIC), a multi-disciplinary R&D centre located at the Research Park. The HTIC is a joint initiative of IIT Madras and Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, and brings together technologists, engineers, doctors and healthcare professionals, industry and government to develop healthcare technologies for the country.

Today, IITM has collaborations with several top educational institutions in Germany and also has an Indo-German Centre for Sustainability on Campus, which aims at developing the capacity and the capability to promote sustainable development in Germany, India and South Asia.

 18 countries students in IIT-M

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) was established in 1959 by the Government of India as an Institute of national importance. The activities of the Institute in various fields of Technology and Science are carried out in 16 academic departments and several advanced interdisciplinary Research Academic Centres.

The Institute offers UG and PG programmes leading to the B.Tech., M.Sc., M.B.A., M.Tech., M.S., and Ph.D., degrees in a variety of specialisations. IIT-M is a residential institute with more than 550 faculty and 9000 students.

Students from 18 countries are enrolled here. The campus is self-contained and is located on a beautiful wooded area of about 250 hectares. IIT-M fosters an active entrepreneurial culture with strong curricular support and through the IIT-M Incubation Cell (

IIT-M has been ranked No.1 amongst Engineering Institutions in the India Rankings 2016 and 2017 and No.2 in the category of Overall Institutions in the 2017 Rankings, released by the National Institutional Ranking Framework, MHRD, GoI.

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