Pune: City-based Defence Institute of Advance Technology (DIAT), under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has set up incubation centre to develop entrepreneurship among students and faculties about defence products. Officials said that this will help them commercialise technologies.
DIAT Vice-Chancellor Dr Surendra Pal said, “We promote innovation by creating an ecosystem that is conducive to the growth of start-ups in the defence sector. We will nurture entrepreneurship in those people who have a passion for knowledge generation and mentoring. Instead of job seekers, they should provide jobs to people.”
DIAT trains scientists of Defence Research and Development Organisation, officers from armed forces, technical officers of Ordnance Factory Board, Directorate of Quality Assurance, and Public Sector Undertakings, private industries and also civilian students. The institute currently runs 25 specialised courses and seven generic courses in defence technologies.
Prof PK Khanna, chairman of the incubation cell, said, “We will provide Rs five lakh seed fund for three years. Four companies can operate here for three years and after that, if the business is feasible, they will be asked to move out. We are initiating startups related to food and nanotechnology.”
When asked about the less seed money, Prof Khanna said, “We already have other required infrastructure on the campus, hence the amount is less. It will be increased gradually as we expand the incubation centre.”
The institute’s mission is to evolve as an innovative research university to develop indigenous and contemporary defence-related technologies in navigation systems, wireless sensors, efficient propulsion systems, weapon systems for defence services and technological solutions to the services to optimise combat battlefield effectiveness.
Spread over a sprawling 496-acre campus overlooking the Khadakwasla Lake in Girinagar, 20 km from Pune, DIAT receives funds from the department of defence research and production of the Government of India.
Dassault-Reliance engineers training at DIAT
Prof K Balasubramanian, Head of Materials Engineering at the DIAT, said that about 6-10 students will be trained for Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited. “We will soon sign a memorandum of understanding. For one year, the students will be trained at DIAT and they will spend another year in France. As per their requirement, the number of students can be increased,” he added.
Officials said that DIAT conducts courses for about Rs 10 lakh whereas IITs charge about Rs 60 lakh.
The Dassault-Reliance manufacturing facility Dhirubhai Ambani Technology Park is located in the Mihan SEZ adjoining Nagpur International Airport. Under this joint venture (51 per cent Reliance Infrastructure and 49 per cent Dassault Aviation), the facility will manufacture several components of the offset obligation connected to the purchase of 36 Rafale Fighters from France, signed between India and France in September 2016. DRAL will manufacture components for the Legacy Falcon 2000 Series of Civil Jets manufactured by Dassault Aviation and thus will become part of its global supply chain.
Students solve real problems of Navy
There are 30 Indian Navy officers who study at DIAT beside other postgraduate students. As part of their projects, every year, they are assigned real time problems faced by Navy, for which they can provide solutions. At present, the students are engaged in research to come out with a solution to reduce the sound of propeller of ships/submarines. Earlier, the students had provided technology related to corrosion.