19th July, 2007, the day of Autumn Semester Registration, Dr Dhrubes Biswas, Chief Technology Officer and head of the Technology Entrepreneurship Promotion Programme (TePP) calls for a meeting with the faculty of IIT Kharagpur on the recommendation of Prof GS Sanyal to discuss the ways of capacity building and popularization of entrepreneurship amongst the students of IIT Kharagpur. Later, in an interview with TSA, he said that the meeting, which evolved into a brainstorming discussion, helped him come up with some good ideas that can establish a vibrant entrepreneurial culture in IIT Kharagpur. He said that many MoUs have already been signed between IIT Kharagpur and Ivy League colleges like the University of Colorado Boulder, UC Berkeley, and Stanford, to promote social entrepreneurship.
IIT Kharagpur is arguably one of the best institutions for learning in the world and it has played a major role in nurturing and developing talent in students. IIT Kgp’s alumni have earned great laurels and have spread our name to every corner of the planet. It is obvious that one of the reasons behind this is the emphasis we have laid on original and breakthrough research and innovation. However, other universities are ahead of us in this aspect (for example MIT has ‘Fablabs’ where many products have been successfully developed). According to Dr Biswas, lack of innovation in students and professors is a large factor holding back entrepreneurship and this problem deserves some serious contemplation to circumvent. Comprehending the importance of this, and keeping the future goals of the institute in mind, he proposed to start an Innovation Cell (I-Cell).
I-Cell is a student body which aims to develop an interest for innovation amongst the student community, starting from the time they first enter the institute. It will organize periodic workshops, and lectures by prominent personalities to encourage students. In addition, it will make students more aware of the facilities of research available at IIT Kharagpur and will guide them about how they can be used to develop commercially viable products, as well as to obtain intellectual capital through them with the help of E-Cell. It will arrange mentorship and guidance for students who have suitable ideas and products, but who lack the information about how to go about things. This body has been formed owing to the successes of E-Cell and will function as its sister organization. He also proposed to hold an international innovation conference in IIT Kharagpur next year.
Dr Biswas also addressed first year students in an inspirational lecture on entrepreneurship organized by E-Cell on 1st August. He made first year students aware of the activities of E-Cell and the benefits of being a techno-entrepreneur. He said that focused technical minds of the first year students can do wonders if they start working right from the first day here and students who have the zeal to think differently and in an innovative manner will become successful entrepreneurs of the future.
The Scholars Avenue hopes that E-Cell-I-Cell duo will be the one-stop shop for all people who have any problems and queries related to innovation, intellectual capital, and related matters in IIT Kharagpur.