Wipro to collaborate with IISc

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on September 26, 2019 Published on September 12, 2019

To develop driverless cars, build metal 3d printing machine

IT major Wipro is collaborating with Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, to develop ‘driverless cars’ and build the country’s first indigenous ‘Metal 3D printing (additive manufacturing) machine’.

Azim Premji, founder of Wipro, delivering the convocation address at the IISc, said “We have immense gratitude towards your wonderful institution. This is our birthplace. Let me thank you – all of you who are here and the generations that have built IISc.”

“I am also happy to note that our association has continued over the past 40 years — we have continued to recruit from your institution and do collaborative projects at the cutting edge of technology; it is here we are collaborating to develop ‘driverless cars’ and build the country’s first indigenous ‘Metal 3D printing (additive manufacturing) machine.’

By associating with IISc, Premji said, “I think that there are two lessons in our association with the great institution. The first one is that collaboration matters more than we realise. We must encourage and foster collaboration across different sectors — across education and research institutions, industry, civil society and government.”

The second lesson, he said, is the role and contribution of good and open-minded institutions in society, which cannot be measured in money terms. They have far-reaching and deep impact. “We must build more such institutions, which pursue excellence in their chosen fields — and are deeply engaged with society. IISc is an excellent example of this — but we have too few such institutions in India, we must build many more.”

Ties that go back

Recalling Wipro’s old association with IISc, Premji said, “in 1979, Wipro approached the newly set up Centre for Scientific and Industry Consultancy at IISc for a consulting project. We had just set up our information technology division, having decided to diversity into IT.

“The institute constituted a committee to advise us on what computer we should make. This consulting priejct involved surveying literature on the computers being made all over the world. And it was also a platform for technical discussions, conceptualisation and design review between Wirpo’s R&D team and IISc. It was here that we began to think about what chips, bus and microprocessor should be used in the first Wipro computer,” he said.

On the technology transfers and expertise, Wipro chairman said IISc helped build R&D manpower of Wipro. “Victor Jayakaran, the first employee of our IT division, was an M tech student of IISc and was hired to anchor the project in its initial stages. Sridhar Mitta, from ECIL, joined us soon after. In the first few months of their joining they worked out of the digital lab of IISc.”

However, there is something that is even more fundamental than the pursuit of excellence that shapes the institutions and their contributions. This most fundamental of things is the values of the institutions, he said. “And when I mention values, I mean what is lived and practised every day in institutions, not merely what is professed.”

Premji cited three values that he believed were critical to a good institution and its contributions to the world, namely integrity, empathy and humaneness, and third, fairness, equity and justice.

Published on September 12, 2019

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