Deep technologies are no longer just limited to proof-of-concepts and are widely being used across various industries in India. The COVID-19 pandemic has further pushed the usage of deep technologies and has now brought them to the mainstream. In the same spirit, Prof S Sadagopan, Director, IIIT Bangalore, who was the Chairperson of the DQ Deep Tech virtual event held on 16 September 2020, says that now is the time to take a step back and take a look at things holistically.
“We need to divide our responsibilities as far as Deep Tech is concerned, and not duplicate efforts. The science and technology institutes need to focus on research, which would require significantly large investments. Therefore, the Government needs to be sensitized on the need for investments. Even the corporate sector will have to think of orders of magnitude increase in investments in science and technology,” said Prof Sadagopan.
He also stated that while the numbers of students in the Indian Institutes of Technologies (IITs) were indeed increasing, there was still a need for the right kind of investment to build an R&D ecosystem. “Apart from the MIT and Cambridge laboratories, the corporate sector and CXOs need to also start taking cognizance of the research taking place in the various IITs in the country,” he said.
Furthermore, Prof Sadagopan also said the human resource industry and HR executives need to be sensitized on hiring PhD and MTech candidates. “BTech graduates and a small number of MTech and PhD candidates are getting recruited. However, the strategy needs to be reformed to bring R&D departments to the centre stage,” added Prof Sadagopan.
Prof Sadagopan also emphasized on the need to make R&D a lucrative and attractive career option for youngsters in order to make Deep Tech truly flourish in India. “R&D should no longer be considered a backend job. Students who are around 18 years of age need to hear about new age technology companies working in the area of Deep Tech, and need to be motivated to work in the field,” highlighted Prof Sadagopan.