Indian Institute of Technology Madras, on Wednesday, established 15 Centres of Excellence as part of the Government of India’s ‘Institute of Eminence’ (IoE) Scheme. These centres will undertake research to develop next-generation technologies and create a significant impact not just in India but internationally as well.

The 15 Centres include Critical Transitions in Complex Systems; Centre of Excellence on Molecular Materials and Functions; Technologies for Low Carbon and Lean Construction and Healthcare and Assistive Technologies.

The IoE Scheme was established by the Centre to empower Higher Educational Institutions to become world-class teaching and research institutions. IIT Madras was chosen in 2019. It has established several research initiatives in diverse fields with funds from IoE grants.

The financial support through IoE will enable IIT Madras faculty members to pursue ambitious research goals, undertake cutting-edge projects, and attract top talent to work on ground-breaking research topics.

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IIT Madras had identified 68 research initiatives across 21 technology clusters in diverse fields in Phase I. Through an extensive and rigorous review process, the Institute shortlisted 15 Centres of Excellence within the IIT Madras system alongside 23 Research Centres and 10 Research Projects in Phase II.

These research initiatives encompass a broad spectrum of disciplines and involve over 400 faculty members. By fostering interdisciplinary research, they facilitate collaborations that can lead to discoveries, innovations, and advancements in key areas, as per a release.

“A substantial amount of the IoE funding has been invested in the development of research,” V Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, said. Adding, “We had a first set of exploratory research grants through which about 68 projects had been funded. Based on the deliverables of those projects, we shortlisted 15 for which today we are announcing the ‘Centre of Excellence’ status. These centres are expected to become world-class and bring eminence to the Institute.”

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These centres are predominantly interdisciplinary, involving faculty from more than three departments and working on niche technologies. As an example, there are CoEs on Quantum Diamond and Emergent Material, electronics, and aerospace engineering, among others, touching all departments of the Institute. The outcome from these centres is envisaged to have multiple ideas that can lead to extensive commercialisation, product development, and technologies. We are looking at several start-ups to come from these CoEs and extensive collaboration with the Industry,” he said.

The CoEs are dedicated to specific areas of study and are expected to reach the top five in the world in terms of research and innovation. They are intended to serve as hubs of excellence, attracting top talent, and foster interdisciplinary collaboration, he said.