IIT Kharagpur develops ‘instant Tea’ technology
Our institute is in talks with leading tea companies from different parts of the country regarding the licensing of a unique technology developed by it for preparing instant tea. With the new method, tea can be prepared by directly putting the leaves in hot water in lieu of the old method which involved the boiling of leaves in water. Companies are hoping that this technology heralds a new era for tea much like was witnessed after the instant coffee revolution.
We were informed by Prof. S Tripathy (Professor in-charge, Intellectual Property Cell) that the institute, which has an Indian patent for this new technology, is in talks with many companies including a Coonoor-based tea company which is very keen on using this technology. However, nothing has been penned on paper yet, and only time will provide us with more details about the final licensing agreements and the various parties involved.
For IIT Kharagpur, the gains could be either in the form of a license fee on the use of the technology by the licencee(s) or as a collaboration fee as per the stipulations of the technology transfer document that will be drawn up between the institute and a third party. This income will contribute to the revenue earned by the institute.
Incidentally, leading technology institutes like MIT in the US, earn up to 30% of their revenue from sponsored research and licensing of their own developed and patented technology. The institute has also marketed tea grown on some 100 acres in the Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Park (STEP). The initiative received assistance from the Goodricke group and is now producing orthodox and green teas of mixed grades. All tea enthusiasts can expect new things to develop in the near future and can hope to utilize newer easier methods to prepare that all vitalizing and refreshing cup of tea.