CHENNAI: Remember the first time wet grinders came into the market? With celeb-speckled ads and endless guarantees of quality, these inventions swept up a landfill of consumers effortlessly. And the plethora of TV ads had ensured that we knew about it. But what we don’t know, despite being patrons of idly/dosa, is that this invention was ideated and crafted by regular folk, not engineers, said V Ramakrishnan. of the Society for Educational and Entrepreneurship Development (SEED)
But the successful prototype almost saw the end of its life had these textile workers not sought experts who gave them a lab at PSG tech at Coimbatore. Here it was tinkered on and improved before it fluttered back into the market in a big way.
Enter SIIP, the model which enabled this process and continues to bridge gaps between institutions and industries, throwing open opportunities for research, skills and development. Making average people and students build everything from wet grinders to telecommunication equipment. At the 3rd summit of SIIP (Sustainable Institute Industry Partnership) conducted by the SEED, the slew of industry experts, academicians drawing from models they thought were best to boost SIIP in the country.
Besides special technical support mentioned, finance, development, training, tool rooms and Intellectual Property aid are some other takeaways of this model which are already found in colleges like IITs, NITs and Sastra. “Forty Six per cent of all engineering students in the state end up with IT jobs. By enforcing stronger SIIP, we can bridge the gap between a student’s core study and field of occupation,” said T Thyagarajan, dean CUIC (Centre for University Industry Collaboration), Anna University. The three-pronged benefits this link covers are the social, institutional and company spheres and it makes for more Industry-driven curriculum. ‘There should be rewards like funding and tax cuts for industries that encourage student involvement and hands-on education aggressively.”
It will give incentive for industries to reach out to colleges even more,’ said D Sridharan, principal, of BSNL’s district telecom training centre.