IIT Kanpur to support Covid-hit small and medium businesses, start-ups

Topics IIT Kanpur | MSMEs | Lockdown

IIT Kanpur | Photo credit: IIT Kanpur website
With the Covid-19 headwinds hitting hard the commercial and industrial sector, especially the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur has decided to support the small and medium businesses facing the unfolding challenges of the pandemic.

The IIT Kanpur has created a business resource platform titled, Technopark@iitk, to allow the beleaguered MSMEs to leverage the Institute’s research & development (R&D) strengths.

Under the Technopark@iitk, the Institute has designed an ‘Affiliate Membership Model’ to provide a gateway to the MSMEs to access its deep seated R&D infrastructure. The primary goal of the model is to handhold the MSMEs for improving their product quality, and to assist them in skill and technology up-gradation.

“The research park plans to increase its reach in the coming months. It is already in active interactions with the TiE-UP and Indian Industries Association (IIA), and would like to reach out to various government ministries and departments including the MSME ministry to push this model for wider adoption,” Technopark@iitk COO Reema Mittal informed.

Technopark@iitk is keen to scale up the model to reach out to more MSMEs and start-ups.

“During discussions, we realised that the MSMEs are keen to seek expertise from IIT Kanpur, but setting up an R&D base may not be a financially feasible option for them. On its part, Technopark would like to reach out to a large base of MSMEs and not restrict itself to a few numbers,” IIT Kanpur professor in charge, Technopark@iitk, Prof Avinash Kumar Agarwal said.

Some of the main features of the platform are -- access to the state-of-art research infrastructure and intellectual resources, opportunity to work with IIT Kanpur students, participate in Special Interest Group (SIG) meets, and industry events organised by Technopark@iitk, opportunity to enhance their brand’s visibility, and license and commercialise IIT Kanpur IPs (a database of 600+ patents).

Besides, the affiliate member could also avail of an office desk for 30 days in a year in Technopark@iitk to foster closer interactions with the IIT Kanpur.

According to the IIT Kanpur, due to the Covid-19, the industry globally was still grappling with the imminent economic slowdown, and looming recession. In India, MSMEs form the backbone of the domestic economy, and have taken the hardest hit in the current ongoing situation.

The fact that Kanpur has a huge MSME base, and these MSMEs are the engines of growth for the regional economy, the IIT Kanpur decided to rise up to the occasion for enhancing the competitiveness of the MSMEs in the changed economic scenario.

Kunal Kasera, Founder, TruFarm Co. (re-engineering food systems startup) is among the first to join the Technopark@iitk bandwagon. “Our partnership with IIT Kanpur Technopark has brought immense strength to our engineering and R&D departments.”

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