Creativity and innovation remain at the heart of the policy initiative of the Government in recent times. In the changing paradigm of research and development, skill, innovation ecosystem, there is a dire need for academia-industry interaction to add value to society. To gain insights into the topic, the School of Tribal Legal Studies and Tribal Rights, in collaboration with the Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC), KISS-DU, organized a national webinar on ‘Academia-Industry Collaboration for Innovation and Development’ on 23rd July 2021. This webinar was held in the context of the New Education Policy (NEP 2020), and Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP 2020), which stress on setting up start-ups, incubation centers, and technology development centers at the forefront of research. The webinar was graced by Dr. Mohit Gambhir, Director, Ministry of Education’s Innovation Cell, Government of India and Dr. Bijay Kumar Sahu, Regional Manager and Head, National Research Development Corporation (NRDC)-MoMSME-Intellectual Property and Facilitation Centre (IPFC) UN-WIPO: Technology & Innovation Support Centre (TISC), NRDC.

The Guest of Honour, Dr. Mohit Gambhir appreciated the noble and novel work made by KISS since its inception. He spoke about how innovation comes into play when you analyse local problems and local issues. He defined the term Innovation and said “Innovation makes the ecosystem meaningful and beautiful”. Technological advancement is the need of the hour and innovation needs to be brought to KISS also. Innovations can make students entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. Change is an ongoing process and keeping in view the current pandemic, the students have to be encouraged towards adoptability. Over 50,000 teachers will be trained through the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in the areas of cognitive skills, design thinking, IPR, HR, finance, entrepreneurship, so that teachers can mentor the students, concluded Dr. Gambhir.

The Keynote Speaker, Dr. Bijay Kumar Sahu talked about the need for paradigm shift in the education system by including machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cryptocurrency. He suggested that the university should opt for filing for patents, establishing IPR Cell, Start-ups, Entrepreneurship Cell and advocating government run flagship programs. He opined that the pandemic has shown us an unprecedented situation. He quoted the example of Covishield, where the technology has been developed in Oxford University and transferred to industry and 2-DG drug developed by DRDO. Stressing the goal of education should be to create a workforce capable of doing new things. He stated that the objectives of education should be to Innovate, Patent, Produce and Prosper. Dr. Sahu, in his concluding words, drew a connecting line between Lord Saraswati and Lord Laxmi, i.e. bridging knowledge to wealth.

Earlier, Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, Vice-Chancellor, KISS-DU in his welcome address mentioned that the frontline universities have academia-industry collaborations, and the same needs to be introduced in other universities. He appreciated the theme of the webinar as the academics will get technology, support, and innovation and the industry can find work-ready talent.  He added that there is a dire need to change the mindset, and innovate the curriculum to make the students skilled for the industry which can be done with the help of the think-tank of both industry and academia. Professor Behera concluded by seeking guidance and support from the industry in setting up Incubation Centres and Innovation Clubs for academia-industry collaboration at KISS-DU.

Speaking in turn, Dr. Prashanta Kumar Routray, Registrar, KISS-DU introduced the guests and presented a brief profile of the dignitaries to the virtual participants. He shared significant achievements of Dr. Mohit Gambhir who is known as ‘Hackathon Man of India’ and spearheads many of the Government-run initiatives like Smart India Hackathon, Toy Hackathon, and international initiatives like Singapore India Hackathon, ASEAN India Hackathon, India UNESCO Hackathon, establishing more than 2500+ IICs across India in higher education institutions, ARIIA rankings, Yukti 2.0, National Innovation and Start-up Policy. Dr. Gambhir, who has many patents to his name, recently received Harvard University’s Global System Award. Dr. Bijay Kumar Sahu is the recipient of the IP Excellence Award from the World IP Forum, Global IP Convention Award at 12th Global IP Convention, and ASSOCHAM and IPTSE Award. Dr. Sahu has managed many patents, trademarks, designs, and copyright. Dr. Routray concluded by saying, “I am sure that KISS-DU can reach the pinnacle of success with constant guidance of the stalwarts present today.”

Professor Jugal Kishore Mishra, Director Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) delivered the formal vote of thanks to all present in the webinar.