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Indian Institute of Technology Madras is launching a new initiative to showcase its research to the broad scientific community and policymakers.

It will highlight the major research initiatives being pursued in emerging areas of global interest, a release said.

While the first webinar under the ‘IITM Research Initiatives Spotlight’ (IRIS) is scheduled to be conducted on July 1, 2021 on the topic of ‘Advanced Materials’, the first edition of the series will conclude in October 2021.

The webinars will showcase several research projects belonging to 21 identified technology clusters that have been initiated with support from the Government of India as an ‘Institute of Eminence’ (IoE) scheme.

IIT Madras Director Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi said, “Research is the centrepiece of new initiatives launched at IIT Madras as an ‘Institute of Eminence.’ More than 300 faculty members have formed multi-disciplinary teams and identified cutting-edge challenges to explore over the next few years.”

The outcomes envisaged from IRIS include:

  • Create awareness in the scientific community regarding the research landscape at IIT Madras
  • Outreach to the broader public to explain research themes of national and international relevance
  • Attract bright students to pursue graduate research at IIT Madras
  • Deepen international engagement and participation in IIT  Madras research activities

IIT Madras Dean (Global Engagement) Prof. Raghunathan Rengaswamy said, “IIT Madras is reaching out to the international as well as the Indian scientific community and the public to engage with them and describe to them major research initiatives that have been launched by the Institute. Research outcomes from these projects have the potential to catapult IIT Madras to the next level of academic excellence, thereby becoming an institute on par with the best universities in the world.”

Prof. T. Pradeep, Padma Shri Awardee, and Institute Professor, Department of Chemistry, IIT Madras, will speak during the inaugural lecture of the IRIS Initiative on July 1, 2021 about research initiatives on ‘Molecular Materials and Functions,’ being undertaken to create a globally recognised centre focusing on synthesis and study of molecular materials.

In addition, Dr. Madivala G. Basavaraj, Associate Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Madras, will also speak about the research centre working on soft and biological matter, which will focus on structure and rheology.

The IRIS series will provide an opportunity to engage in conversations with eminent faculty from IIT Madras and other international researchers, and identify opportunities for collaborations in those research areas.

The ‘Institute of Eminence’ (IoE) Scheme was launched by the Government of India to empower Higher Educational Institutions and help them become world-class teaching and research institutions. IIT Madras was selected as an ‘Institute of Eminence’ in September 2019.

A highlight of the IoE initiative is that public institutions selected as ‘Institute of Eminence’ are provided financial assistance of up to Rs 1,000 crore, over a period of five years, to help them emerge as world-class institutions. In addition, they will be encouraged to admit foreign students and recruit foreign faculty.

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