WE ARE SPECIALLY happy over the global leader in the habitat and construction market, Saint-Gobain, setting up a cross functional research and development centre, the Saint-Gobain Research India (SGRI) in collaboration with IIT Madras at the IIT-M Research Park(IITMRP).
There are several unique features in SG setting up its seventh R&D centre across the globe in Chennai. Chief among these is its location adjacent to IIT-M, which will help SG harness the expertise available in the institute in material science, building technology and renewable energy.
Director of IIT-M, Bhaskar Ramamurthi expressed the hope that “the collaboration will lead to affordable and sustainable solutions to the challenges of energy and environment that India faces today.”
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed in the presence of leading scientists andexecutives of SG and IIT-M. This followed a one day research symposium with leading research community and senior faculty held a day earlier on 13 December 2012. Dr Didier Roux, Chief Technology Officer, Saint- obain Group, Dr Jean-Pierre Floris, Senior Vice President and President Innovative Material Sector, Anand Mahajan, Country Head, Saint-Gobain Group in India, B Santhanam, Managing Director SGGI, Dr Anand Tanekella, Head R&D Centre, Director IIT-M and other faculty members were present at the impressive function that launched SGRI at the IIT-M Research Park.
Impetus for innovation
The IIT-M Research Park was set up to facilitate collaborative research and development between industry and IIT-M to provide an impetus to innovation and to nurturing entrepreneurship. It is designed to have three towers, adjacent to the sprawling IIT-M campus. With a total area of around 1.6 million sq ft of space, the first of these three towers with a built up space of 0.5 million sq ft spread over 12 storeys has been operational since March 2010. 50 companies and institutions have been working in this tower which is fully occupied.