iRISE CxO Forum 2023 was organized on August 29, 2023, at IISER Pune. This year’s theme was ‘Innovation as a Driver of Growth and Excellence’. It was chaired by Dr. Naushad Forbes, Co-Chairman of the Pune-based premier engineering firm Forbes Marshall, Past President of the Confederation of Indian Industry CII, and Chairman of the Center for Technology, Innovation and Economic Research (CTIER). The program included a talk session on ‘Propelling Growth and Excellence through Innovation’, a panel discussion on “How can India Lead Global Innovation?” and photo exhibition of the teacher training workshops organized by project iRISE.
Prof. Sunil S. Bhagwat, Director, IISER Pune, in his welcome note, described IISER Pune’s unique approach to science education which focuses on providing students exposure to the interdisciplinarity of science and technology and also providing them opportunities to do research at the undergraduate level.
During his keynote address, Dr. Naushad Forbes emphasized the importance of combining research and higher education in India. He said universities and other institutions that bring both these components together can serve as a great source of skilled and talented human resources for various industries. Sharing examples of international statistics on Gross Domestic Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD), he further elaborated on how fostering a research and innovation culture in the industrial sector eventually leads to rapid economic growth of a country.
A talk session entitled ‘Propelling Growth and Excellence through Innovation’ was moderated by Mr Ajit Sharma, Managing Director India and South Asia, Royal Society of Chemistry. The first speaker of the session, Mr. Naveen Kalappa, Chief Financial Officer, Tata Technologies Limited. provided an overview of research and innovation in the technology industry He described how basic sciences are the backbone of technological innovation in the automobile sector. Next, Dr. Ashish Lele, Director, CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory Pune, talked about the role of the Government Research Laboratories in bridging the gap in translational research. How CSIR labs are the exemplars of publicly funded labs involved in the Research Development Demonstration and Deployment (RDD&D) of innovative technologies.
Dr. Naushad Forbes moderated the panel discussion entitled “How can India Lead Global Innovation?”. Various panelists brought to the table different perspectives on the topic pertaining to their own domain. Mr. Arvind Goel, Chairman - Tata AutoComp Systems shared the importance of continuous innovation in the industrial sector to stay ahead of competition in the market. Mr. Rajendra Tripathi, Head - Education Programmes - Public Policy/Government Affairs- British Council India, highlighted the significance of inclusion and diversity to promote innovation and productivity. Dr. Mayur Datar, Chief Data Scientist, Flipkart, elaborated upon the scope of applied innovation in IT, healthcare and Digital Public Goods sector in India. Ms. Namita Gupta, Adviser/Scientist 'G’, DST shared information about the Inspire - Manak scholarship schemes established by the Government of India and has been designed to encourage school students, Ph.D. scholars, and Early career Researchers to pursue a career in research and innovation.
An exhibition of photographs taken during teacher training workshops in three states of India (Maharashtra, Bihar, and Uttrakhand) and pedagogical tools created by the Teacher Development Stand of iRISE program was also set up which was highly appreciated by all the participants of the event.
The program was attended by distinguished leaders from academia and industry including Prof. Sunil S. Bhagwat, Director, IISER Pune, Dr. Ashish Lele, Director, CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory Pune, Prof. Jayant B. Udgaonkar, Department of Biology, IISER Pune, Mr. Arvind Goel, Chairman - Tata AutoComp Systems Limited, Mr. Ajit Sharma, Managing Director India & South Asia, Royal Society of Chemistry, Mr. Naveen Kalappa, Chief Financial Officer, Tata Technologies Limited., Dr. Mayur Datar, Chief Data Scientist, Flipkart, Mr. Rajendra Tripathi, Head - Education Programmes - Public Policy/Government Affairs- British Council India, Ms Savitha Balachandran, Chief Financial Office, Tata Technologies, Mr Sujit Dixit, CSR Head, Tata Technologies, Mr. Datta Kuvalekar, Director -Technology and Engineering at Forbes Marshall, Dr. Shridhar S. Shukla, Co-Founder, Chairman, KPOINT, Dr. Richard Lobo, Head Innovation, CQH and Chief Ethics Counselor at Tata Chemicals, Mr. Suneel Jagdale, Director - Software Engineering - PA Software, Siemens Industry Software (I) Pvt. Ltd. Senior government officials Ms. Namita Gupta, Adviser/Scientist 'G’, Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, and Dr. Sandeep Bansal, Scientist C, DST - INSPIRE-MANAK also participated in the event.
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