Mumbai : Tata Steel has joined hands with C-MET Thrissur, an autonomous society of MeitY, Govt. of India, and Digital University Kerala to set up a national ‘India Innovation Centre for Graphene’ (IICG), largely funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), and the Government of Kerala.
IICG has been envisioned to develop breakthrough graphene technologies and promote translational research with a focus on technologies to develop socially relevant products and applications working along with industry, academia, and startups. Tata Steel will assist the Centre in identifying industrial needs, participating in application development, scaling up, and developing a go-to-market strategy for selected technologies. The Company will play a key role in operationalising the Centre.
Dr Debashish Bhattacharjee, Vice President, New Materials Business, Tata Steel, said: “Tata Steel’s New Materials Business (‘NMB’) division was set up with the vision of making the Company as well the ecosystem future ready by seeding and scaling up businesses in socially-relevant new materials. With Tata Steel’s strong knowledge base in materials and market, investment in materials research and development, and ability to scale businesses, we will be able to quickly translate research ideas to market-ready products. Together with the Digital University of Kerala and C-MET we shall deliver world-class quality products and solutions to discerning customers. This industry-academia partnership on a platform provided by the Govt. through IICG will help take forward the vision of developing breakthrough graphene technologies and enabling a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.
“I believe this Centre will act as a force multiplier, bringing industry, academia, and start-ups together under a collaborative framework to rapidly bring to market multiple products and solutions exploiting the full potential of Graphene. This endeavour will help promote innovation and entrepreneurship through design challenges, outreach programmes and incubation grants. We are excited about working with this collaborative innovation ecosystem,” Dr Bhattacharjee added.
Kamesh Gupta, Chief (Graphene Business, Medical Materials, Innoventure and Innovation), Tata Steel, said: “This Centre will attract internationally renowned graphene research community, bridge the gap between scientific development and industrial deployment through collaborations. The Centre while focussing on R&D will also facilitate innovation and human capacity building, develop indigenous technology, products, intellectual property rights (IPR) and rich intellect workforce in emerging 2D material areas. It will also provide mentorship to young research scholars & startups with incubation and acceleration opportunities.
At Tata Steel, pursuing research in advanced materials is an active process. The Company started the Graphene initiative in 2016, embarked on the journey towards becoming a technology leader in the steel and materials business with the opening of New Materials Business division, focussing on graphene, composites and ceramics. In FY 2020-21, Tata Steel commissioned a 100 tonne per annum integrated Graphene manufacturing plant, one among few large single-unit graphene production facilities in the world. Graphene-doped products and graphene-coated products which can be used in diverse sectors such as materials handling, textiles, and packaging, among others, are currently being tested and are in different stages of commercialisation.