The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), India’s largest R&D organisation, has tweaked the way it develops technology for the industry. Instead of first developing a technology and then looking for a company to take it up, it now first seeks the industry’s needs and then works on the technology. This is a win-win for both, said N Kalaiselvi, Director General, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, the first woman to hold the post.

Working with the industry will give lots of synergy. It is high time that the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research works closely with the industry and vice versa to solve various problems and on R&D, she told businessliine on the sidelines of the 11th Convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology Design and Manufacturing, Kancheepuram, on Thursday.

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CSIR comes up with many industry-specific projects like fast commercialisation projects where it makes the industry an indispensable partner from day one of the project. Working with the industry will give a lot of synergy, she said.

In the past, CSIR would make a technology on its own and wait for the industry to take it up. However, now it first talks with the industry to get their wishlist of their critical challenges and throw these challenges across CSIR and make people submit projects accordingly. Through this from day one, the project person also understands what industry he/she is working for. The industry also will know that he/she is working for them, she said. “This kind of an understanding between the CSIR and industry we try to have from day one. This kind of working culture is taking a new shape. This is really beneficial to both of us, gives synergy and we are able to meet the industry’s requirement,” she added.


When asked if the new model will help CSIR get more revenue, Kalaiselvi said, “Being a non-profit organisation - CSIR was established by the Government of India in 1942 as an autonomous body - we are not worried about the revenue. However, whatever small financial support that is funded from our end and we ask the industry to support it many times in kind rather than in cash. Whatever facilities we have and they have, we make use of it as common facilities. We become the knowledge partner and they become the implementing agency,” she said.

Green technology

CSIR is working on many things in green technology. It has been working on the Green Hydrogen mission for the last two years on projects like hydrogen generation, application and storage. Similarly, for renewable energy also, it has been working on renewable energy generation, application and storage. Whether it is green hydrogen or any other form of renewable energy including wind and solar, CSIR addresses all the three verticals, she said.

Talking on the latest R&D, Kalaiselvi said CSIR demonstrated a fuel cell-powered car and bus where it worked with private industries. Similarly, for lithium, it created a 1,000-cell-making facility, which has been given to a private company called Godi India Private Limited of Hyderabad. “This is how we are now working very closely with the industry. Due to these technological advancements, the industry has also started coming to us,” she said.