First All Science & Technology Cluster’s Meet

October 26-27, 2023

The Jodhpur City Knowledge & Innovation Foundation (JCKIF), organized the First All Science & Technology Cluster’s Meet on October 26 and 27, 2023 in IIT Jodhpur.

Six Science & Technology clusters were launched in 2020. S&T Clusters is a flagship initiative of the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, established on the recommendation of the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council. This initiative aims to address local challenges through S&T interventions by bringing together academia, R&D institutions, industries, startups and local administration. These S&T clusters operating in Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jodhpur, Pune, and recently the seventh cluster, “Northern Region Cluster” has been established in Chandigarh.

Prof. Ajay Kumar Sood, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, chaired the meeting; Dr Parvinder Maini, Scientific Secretary and her colleagues: Dr Arun Bhardwaj, Scientist 'F'; Shri Vivek Kumar, Scientist D; and Shri Yasir Khan, Cluster Manager attended the meeting.

Prof. Santanu Chaudhury, Director of IIT Jodhpur & Chairman of the Board of Directors of JCKIF; Prof Sampat Raj Vadera, Deputy Director, IIT Jodhpur & Director of the Board of Directors of JCKIF and Dr G S Toteja, CEO, JCKIF attended the meeting from Jodhpur Cluster; from Hyderabad Cluster, Ms. Rashmi Pimpale, CEO, RICH; from Bhubaneshwar Cluster, Dr Mrutyunjay Suar, Chairman, BCKIC and Dr Namrata Misra, CEO, BCKIC; from Pune Cluster, Dr Priya Nagaraj, CEO, PKC and Mr. Ajit Kembhavi, PI, PKC; from Delhi Cluster, Ms. Shipra Misra, CEO, DRIIV; from Bengaluru Cluster, Prof. Taslimarif Saiyed, CO-PI, BeST; Mr. Ravi Tennety, COO, BeST; from Chandigarh Cluster, Prof. Rupinder Tewari, PI; Prof. Pushpendra P Singh, Dean (R&D) of IIT Ropar; and Prof. Rajat Sandhir, PU, Chandigarh.

Dr Nimish Vohra; Prof Sushmita Jha; Prof. Mitali Mukerji; Dr Rajendra Nagar; Dr Shobhna Singh; Dr Ranju Mohan; Dr Vicky Anand and others from JCKIF - IIT Jodhpur also attended the meeting. Prof. Pradip Kumar Tewari IITJ and others joined the meeting online.

Prof. Sood in his opening remarks mentioned that the S&T clusters are a unique initiative of the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, focusing on the translational and implementation research. He appreciated the work done by various clusters and suggested to have more collaborative studies in years to come.

Dr Maini expressed her happiness over the participation of representatives of all seven cluster and said that “Clusters have ignited entrepreneurship and innovation across the globe and have helped in breaking the boundaries of institutions.” She highlighted the S&T clusters’ role as shared ecosystems and regional solution providers, while promoting competitiveness on both national and global scales.

Prof. Santanu Chaudhury thanked Prof. Sood and Dr Maini for giving opportunity to JCKIF & IIT Jodhpur for organising the first ALL S&T Cluster’s Meet. He said that these clusters will provide a platform to all the local institutes and organisations as well as industries to develop an ecosystem which would ultimately help the R & D organisation in particularly and the society at a large.

On Day 1, joint presentations were made on four key themes by various S&T clusters. Ms. Rashmi Pimpale, CEO, Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad (RICH), Hyderabad delivered a presentation on the theme Healthcare. It was followed by a presentation on the theme Energy and Environment, delivered by Ms. Shipra Misra, CEO, Delhi Research Implementation and Innovation (DRIIV), Delhi. Subsequently, the next presentation on the theme Agritech & Nutrition was delivered by Mr. Ravi Tennety, COO, Bengaluru Science & Technology Cluster (BeST), Bengaluru. The final presentation for Day 1 on the theme of STEM Education was delivered by Dr. Priya Nagaraj, CEO, Pune Knowledge Cluster (PKC), Pune. The presentations collectively highlighted the collaborative strength of the clusters in these overlapping areas, underscoring their role in driving collaborative S&T initiatives within their respective regions.

Day 2 began with a joint presentation on the theme Livelihood through S&T, delivered by Dr. G. S. Toteja, CEO, JCKIF, Jodhpur. The final joint presentation was made on the theme NorthEast Impact & Industry 4.0, delivered by Dr. M. Suar, Chairman and Dr. N. Misra, CEO, Bhubaneswar City Knowledge Innovation Cluster (BCKIC), Bhubaneswar. Some of the key takeaways from Day 2 included discussions on active engagements of clusters in leveraging traditional art to create livelihoods and enhancing the value of products through online sale platforms. It was discussed that these efforts should be replicated in the Northeastern states through BCKIC.

Prof. Vadera delivered vote of thanks. He said that we are fortunate enough having Prof. Sood & Dr Maini for the meeting and their words of wisdom will help all the cluster’s to make the progress at the faster rate and will help in taking new initiatives. He also thank the representatives of all the clusters for attending the meeting and their active participation. He also appreciated and acknowledge the hard work done by Dr G S Toteja and his team of JCKIF and also faculty of IIT and supportive staff.