Institute of Technology

Idea Lab

Recently Institute of Technology of Nirma University has started an innovative program called the “Idea-Lab” to support and nurture and cultivate amongst the students the spirit of innovation, design, hands-on and research towards technology for meaningful purposes. The idea-lab provides a small seed-funding for early-stage exploration of an innovative R&D project ideas which can be used to build quick and simple proto-type sub-systems/systems to identify technical feasibility & directions regarding addressing key technical risks. The ideas funded are mainly purely technical, exploratory, novel, and/or innovative in nature with a potential to impact science, engineering, technology, industry, environment, healthcare and/or social benefits like reduce global warming, betterment of certain disadvantaged groups in society, etc. Many of these ideas are multi-disciplinary involving students from different departments and institutes. Some of our idea projects have been presented at national level winning accolades and awards in national level competitions held by Wipro, awarded and further funded by national scientific journals or international organizations IEEE, or winning national level competition. In this endeavour, the students are guided technically and logistically by faculty-members as mentors.

Although, the technology maturity and commercial viability to bring such idea-projects to finished technology products requires further efforts, multi-year financial supports, but the students working on such innovative and live projects right during their college education helps in setting the directions and path for our future engineers to think, innovate and work towards technologies that are for the betterment of human-life, society, industry and environment.

The Idea-Lab thus serves as a “Technology Incubator” and also aims to support ideas with good technology product and commercial potential to the next business incubation stage through interested entrepreneurs via external funding. The idea of Ideal-Lab is to support more number of ideas with small seed-funding and identify and stop the non-viable ideas at the early stage; take potential ideas to next prototyping & demonstration stage; and explore more support for the ideas with good product - commercial potential.

In 2013-14, the institute funded approx. Rs. 7 Lakh across ~50 ideas, several of which are completed successfully; many accomplished key mile-stones and are continued further to accomplish extension and further targets in 2014-15, and some are also stopped at the stage when were found infeasible based on initial work.

Some of the interesting projects funded under Idea Lab and having a good future potential are presented here in brief.