The Institute has launched a centre to promote the culture of innovation among undergraduate students right from their first year to help imbibe among them the attitude towards innovative research and product development. The initiative is seed-funded by alumnus Arjun Malhotra, co-founder, HCL technologies, Headstrong. The centre has been named M N Faruqui Innovations centre in the honour of former faculty and alumnus, Late Prof. M N Faruqui.
Keeping up with the times IIT Kharagpur understands that the only constant today is Change. The Change that is fuelled by Innovation is the being facilitated by one of the new initiatives of the institute. Inspired by the life and teachings of alumnus-cum-faculty of IIT Kharagpur Professor Mohammed Naseem Faruqui, alumnus and Life Fellow of IIT Kharagpur Shri Arjun Malhotra instituted an endowment in his name by which an Innovations Centre has been created. The M N Faruqui Innovations Centre has been setup by IIT Kharagpur to foster and promote the culture of innovations amongst a wide cross section of students and faculty with support from its alumni and the industry. Understanding that today’s innovations is not related to any specific domain or discipline this centre is being setup to encourage and encompass multidisciplinary interactions between students and faculty alike at all levels of education, undergraduate, postgraduate and research, at IIT Kharagpur.
The Innovations Centre is currently being run at two buildings very closely associated with the time IIT Kharagpur was setup in its early days. These are hosted in the form of a Design facility and a Tinkering Laboratory in different buildings. While the Design facility of the Innovations Centre supports a meeting, brainstorming and conferencing centre with Computing and Information Technology aiding its activities for all those involved to generate new product concepts and ideas, the Tinkering Lab provides a venue to make and experiment with various components to realise these into novel products or systems. The Tinkering Laboratory building in itself is an innovative evolution of a historical building which now has multi use space with new facilities. These include collaborative conferencing tools, 3D printers, a mechanical workshop with fabrication machinery, electronics workbenches, PCB fabrication setups, prototyping tools for embedded systems etc. In addition, there is support to train students in trans-disciplinary areas at early stages of engineering studies and will be linked to the curriculum with project based learning. Faculty can also involve students from different streams to help them realize novel ideas being generated in this process. The industry and society at large could in itself also support the innovation processes by being stake holders in the schemes and providing the much needed financial support for each project.
Followed by the inauguration, Faruqui Innovations Centre is hosting an expo that showcases of the innovations at the Institute by its faculty as well as its students in recent times. Some of the best research works that resulted in patents filed by faculty, the creations of new product themes by student groups in competitions and novel product prototype developments by fresher students are being shown in such an exhibition during the Alumni Meet. With interactions with the alumni who as brand ambassadors and also an important bridge to end users in the society at large this launch-cum-exhibition is targeted at raising the level of innovations at IIT Kharagpur to new heights.