Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati will be playing a key role in the implementation of the ‘Guwahati Declaration,’ unveiled by Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Union Minister of Education, Entrepreneurship and Skill Development and Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam during North East Research Conclave (NERC) 2022 held from 20th to 22nd May 2022 at IIT Guwahati.
The Guwahati Declaration launched at the valedictory function of the conclave by Shri Lok Ranjan, Secretary, Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DONER), in the presence of Shri Kailash Karthik, Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup is intended to create a set of guidelines, through which individual, as well as a collective responsibility to promote and encourage innovation at the grass-root level and strive to stimulate and execute indigenization and entrepreneurship, can be taken up. It also encourages advancement in discoveries through sustainable routes.
At least 100 start-ups are expected to be incubated with around 100 doctoral students to be added within the next three years. The ecosystem support necessary for these developments will be provided for achieving their success.
Speaking on the significance of the declaration Prof. T. G. Sitharam, Director, IIT Guwahati, said, that this Guwahati Declaration, prepared after extensive deliberation with Hon’ble Minister, Secretaries, and Senior Officials will help to develop a robust ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship across the northeast region and beyond. It will also facilitate better coordination among institutions by promoting collaborations in the field of science & technology, protecting indigenous know-how and sustainability in traditional knowledge and translational research areas.
Prof. Parameswar K. Iyer, Dean (Public Relations, Branding and Ranking), IIT Guwahati mentioned, that this Guwahati Declaration is a unique document, and its objectives will bring boundless synergy among stakeholders from governments, funding agencies, industries, academia, research institutes, philanthropists and grass-root innovators and help promote local entrepreneurship, self-reliance and accomplish larger objectives of sustainable growth.
Prof. Vimal Katiyar, Dean (Research and Development) and Convener NERC2022, IIT Guwahati said, that this conclave has helped to shape this historic Guwahati Declaration which was developed on the suggestion by Shri Dharmendra Pradhan ji and will lead to self-sustenance at every level across the region and contribute to the overall growth of R&D, entrepreneurship and sustainability and fulfill the objectives of this mega conclave.
Under this declaration, a framework to achieve holistic and converging objectives and build targeted mission-mode collaborative efforts will be initiated. Progress on ten broad thrust areas will be initiated that would lead to sustainable socio-economic development, efficient bio-resources utilization, automation of indigenous tools and technology, disaster management, and climate change aspects. These broad working areas include:
- Biomedical and Environmental devices development and testing
- Food Processing Technology
- Advanced Functional Materials and Biomaterials
- Drug Discovery from Natural Resources
- Drone Technology Development and Application
- High Altitude Waste Management
- Fossil fuel and Alternative Energy Utilization and Devices
- Geo-Spatial Technology
- Livelihood Projects
- Automation in Agriculture, Sericulture, Pisciculture
The declaration requires individuals and institutions to build upon their strengths and expertise for promoting and nurturing innovation at the grass-root level, engaging individuals from an early level so as to inculcate the values of innovative thinking and collective growth. IIT Guwahati has already been working with self-help groups of women making Pitha (an Assamese delicacy) and helping them in increasing the shelf-life, packaging, and branding of Pitha.
Institutes and Universities across the northeast region and nation will have to be intertwined with various state and central government ministries, PSUs and industries and create a knowledge center, facilitating the declaration objectives. Feedback from participating institute heads, was obtained after a brainstorming session, and broad working areas were identified and listed in the declaration document. This declaration that was released during the valedictory function of the NERC2022 is expected to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship by combining synergies of all stakeholders.