TIIR: Where Ideas get Wings!
Technology Innovation and Industry Relations (TIIR) building, located in the north-eastern corner of the academic campus is now operating in full swing after a wait of many long years. The motive behind its inception is to provide facilities for translation of scientific ideas to practical services, by allowing students to carry out their R&D, product development, limited production, labeling, and marketing from the allotted space.
TIIR building encompasses the following eight units which include:
- Technology Incubation Cell (TIC)
- Business Incubation Cell (BIC)
- Skill Enhancement Cell (SEC)
- Training & Placement Cell (TPC)
- Intellectual Property Cell (IPC)
- Facilities and Support System (FSS)
- Common Design Unit (CDU)
- Common Fabrication Unit (CFU)
Currently, the Training & Placement Cell (ground floor), Start-up & Incubation Centre (1st floor) and the recently shifted Department of Planning and Architecture (2nd floor) are housed inside the TIIR building. The construction of the TIIR building began in May 2012 and has been completed recently.
This three-storey building provides a floor space of around 10,000 m2 and is definitely a state-of-art infrastructure on the campus, with expansive AC installed rooms in most of the units. In spite of the building having adequate facilities, several glitches are brought to notice for further improvement, noting a few:
- Power Backup- Only the ground floor and basement enjoy the privilege of power backup, that also at most for an hour. With the TIIR building housing, the essentials of NITR; power backup of efficient grade should be installed for the entire building so as to ensure power supply for a longer duration.
- Elevators/Lifts- With the building being a prime significance to the institute, lack of elevators inside it creates a major problem for many people; especially for the physically disabled students.
Prof. S.S Mohapatra, Head of TIIR says,
It is a matter of paramount importance and the proposal of introducing lifts has already been put up and the changes might be seen within a year.
Department of Planning and Architecture:
With the commencement of the new academic session, the Department of Planning & Architecture shifted from the old building (beside the Central Library) to the recently furnished TIIR building. The Department is in good spirits with the classrooms becoming more spacious and ventilated. It flaunts a library of its own, although they are yet to recover from the absence of a librarian. Nevertheless, the faculty, as well as students, are contented with the changes made for the good.
In this era of entrepreneurship and start-ups, TIIR is playing the role of a mother for entrepreneurs and lays a strong foundation for the kid in the early stages of life. The TIIR is the hub of business incubation, and technology and has been extremely helpful in providing numerous facilities to the young entrepreneurs of the Institute and some of these include:
- Mentorship from experienced professors.
- Rent free office space.
- Free electricity and water supply.
- Start-up sessions and meetings organized by TIIR.
- Free passes to various start-up summits.
- 24*7 internet connectivity.
As a result of the firm support that the TIIR provides, many start-ups have been registered under the TIIR which have been listed as follows:
- AWALK- Creating Innovation
- Dovel Solutions Private Limited
- Estinno (Eastern Innovation)
- Grabbucks Internet Private Limited
- Honorarium Online Services
- Ikshate Technologies
- M/s See Green Technologies
- Merferry Technologies
- Minz Chemicals Private Limited
- Ovotees, Fastech Fashions Private Ltd.
- Phoenix Robotix
- Poly Refractories Private Ltd.
- S-Mudra Finances
- Srinivasa Lunch Room(SLR)
- Techpros Online Services LLP
- Trinit Cryo Technology Private Ltd.
- Corasia Technologies
- Shiva Jyoti Fuels and Chemicals
- Digiketing Software Consulting Pvt. Ltd.
Abhijeet Sahoo, CEO, Ovotees says,
TIIR has provided tremendous support to us. Without the help of Prof. B.B Biswal, Prof Rajiv Kumar Panda and Prof. S.S Mohapatra, we couldn’t have attained a name in the start-up culture. The credit goes to them for helping us in not just becoming the youngest start-up of the State, but also being the first one to be recognised by Government of Odisha.
In spite of the fact that TIIR is quite supportive and trying its best to promote the start-up culture, certain aspects that need to be addressed are:
- Sanctioning of Leaves: Students get a good amount of invitations via TIIR to attend start-up summits, meetings, and mentoring sessions, but it is infeasible to attend those seminars owing to the cumbersome process of sanctioning leaves for the same. Team MM brought this issue to the notice of Prof. S.S. Mohapatra, who assured that if the conferences are indeed related to the students’ respective start-ups and business incubation, they shall definitely be granted leaves to attend the same. Furthermore, he will discuss with the Dean (Academics) and Director to simplify the process of obtaining leaves.
- Procedure for Getting registered under TIIR: The present procedure of getting recognition from TIIR involves submitting an application detailing the idea about the product/service following which patent rights should be obtained for the product/service. Based on the application received the start-up is recognized by TIIR. However, TIIR is planning to digitize the entire process which will not only be an efficient way of registration but also provide an efficient platform for all the interested innovators to develop and grow. Prof. Mohapatra informed MM that a meeting was held on 16th August 2017 to frame a well-structured constitution of TIIR, which was supposed to be finalized by 24th of this month.
- Fabrication Centre: TIIR is going to install fabrication units such as Computer Numerical Control machines and Rapid Prototyping machines in the basement of the building.
- Technical Assistants: With more and more machines coming into the picture, the need for technical assistance is definitely high. TIIR already has three technical assistants ready to cater to the needs of the students and the faculties. Hence, the available manpower and machines must be efficiently utilized to make the start-up culture of NIT Rourkela reach greater heights.
- Generation of funds: Few other counterparts like IIT Kanpur, IIT Bombay, IIT Kharagpur and even private universities like KIIT, Bhubaneshwar have an intensively developed incubation center; hence their start-ups are gaining worldwide recognition. Their achievements have only been possible because of the huge funding that is allotted to them. However, this is not the case with NIT Rourkela. Start-up culture here is still in its infancy and undoubtedly needs awareness, recognition, and funds.
Professor S.S. Mohapatra, Head of TIIR further informs that he has been writing to several authorities since past few months to generate funds for incubating start-ups. Accordingly, they have received a grant of 5 crores INR to form a section-8 company (no loss, no profit company) which shall be the foundation for all technical and business incubation. Department of Planning and Convergence, Government of Odisha and NITI Aayog are planning to fund 1 crore INR and 5 crores INR respectively for bolstering the activities at TIIR. It is expected that funds amounting to about INR 20 crores will be raised by the end of this year.
Professor S.S. Mohapatra, Head of TIIR exclaimed:
We have a lot of opportunities. A lot has been done; though a lot more needs to be done! Rourkela is basically a tribal area and we have a lot of scope in small scale industries like low-cost housing and rain water harvesting. The students from all departments like Mechanical, Food Processing, Metallurgical and Material Science can collaborate and create wonders! All they need is guidance, creative ideas and a zeal to innovate!
Training and Placement Cell:
The Training and Placement Cell, which was earlier operating in PPA has also moved into TIIR building. The Online tests, Group Discussions, and Interviews are taking place at TIIR, but sometimes Computer Centre at LA-1 is also booked because the one in TIIR can accommodate a maximum of 200 students only.
The major issue that surfaced in TIIR was the absence of Air Conditioners, ventilation and an audio system in the main auditorium. On enquiring about the same with Prof. S.S. Mohanty, he informed Team MM that a budget amounting to 70 lakh INR has been approved by the Finance Committee for the installation of Central Air Conditioning system in the auditorium as well as in the Computer Centre at LA. Further proposals include setting up of a Round Table Conference Hall in TIIR building, with all facilities like audio system, projector, and air conditioning, especially to cater for the BOG Meetings. In addition, this conference hall will be used for the executive meetings during the MDP/FDP and other industry oriented programs.
TIIR is not merely a building, but the cradle of ideas, imagination, and innovation. Monday Morning gave you the sneak peek of its current status and now, it’s your turn to dive into the ocean of opportunities.Team MM wishes luck to the upcoming start-ups and hopes for a successful placement session of the NITR junta!