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IGCAR plans to set up Atal Incubation Centre

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on October 30, 2020 Published on October 30, 2020

NITI Aayog is working with all the R&D institutes in the country including DAE for developing Atal Innovation Centres   -  istock/ismagilov

Targets technology transfer to 25 start-ups a year

The Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) at Kalpakkam, which is engaged in broad-based multi-disciplinary research and advanced engineering programmes, will set up an Atal Incubation Centre to foster research and innovation in the southern parts of the country, said IGCAR Director AK Bhaduri.

He was addressing a virtual press conference on Friday to announce the inauguration of the Incubation Centre at the Kalpakkam-Anupuram twin township. KN Vyas, Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) & Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, inaugurated the Incubation Centre along with similar units at BARC, Mumbai, RRCAT, Indore and IPR, Gandhi Nagar over an online facility.

The four new incubation centres were inaugurated to commemorate the 111th Birth Anniversary of Homi Jehangir Bhabha, the Father of Indian Atomic Energy programme and which is observed every year as Founder’s Day of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).

“NITI Aayog is working with all the R&D institutes in the country including DAE for developing Atal Innovation Centres under the Atal Innovation Mission. All the units inaugurated today have applied or are in the process of applying to NITI Aayog for formal support to make these centres as Atal Innovation Centers,” Bhaduri said.

“We expect this to get completed before this financial year is over,” he added. In principle, we are looking at a target of at least 25 start-ups (for technology transfer) per annum once we get the NITI Aayog approval,” Bhaduri said.

Spin-off technologies

IGCAR, which works on developing Sodium Cooled Fast Breeder Reactors (FBR) and associated fuel cycle facilities, has been developing numerous spin-off technologies over the years. Prior to this incubation centre, such technologies are spread through BARC’s Technology Transfer and Collaboration Division.

“We realised that dissemination and spreading of technology in southern parts of India can be easily done if it is done from the centre at Chennai,” Bhaduri said to highlight the need for setting up an incubation centre.

The event also saw exchange of four MoUs for spin-off technologies between IGCAR and four different agencies in the areas of thermal imaging technology for early detection of breast cancer, autonomous gamma dose logger technology (for environmental radiation monitoring), portable air volume sampler and application of radioisotopes and radiation technologies in agriculture - increasing the shelf life of agricultural products, food preservation and a host of other areas.

Target sectors

In principle, we are looking at a target of at least 25 start-ups (for technology transfer) per annum once we get the NITI Aayog approval,” Bhaduri said, adding, “we are looking at sectors such as healthcare, environmental monitoring, process industries, chemical labs, power plants, security electronics including explosives and narcotic detectors.”

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Published on October 30, 2020
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