IIT Bombay celebrated 15 years of industry-academia partnership with Applied Materials India Private Limited, a subsidiary of materials engineering leader, Applied Materials, Inc. This successful partnership has led to a series of industry-first initiatives in India and has become a reference point for industry-academia collaborations, said a statement from the organisation.
Talking about this long-term association, Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri, director, IIT Bombay, said, “I take immense joy and pride in commemorating 15 years of our relationship with Applied Materials. This partnership has enabled deep academia-industry collaboration, spanning over half a dozen departments at IIT Bombay. Over fifty of our faculty and many more of our students have fuelled this relationship, by creating value for a global leader in semiconductor technology. I look forward to watching this relationship grow in the years to come.”
An early and unique milestone of the collaboration was the establishment of India’s first and only academic ‘Nanomanufacturing Lab’ with industry-proven fabrication systems, which laid the foundation for other partnerships to follow. The Research Park is setup to enable technology-focused companies to co-locate R&D assets at IIT Bombay. Applied Materials India occupies the largest square feet of space at the park.
Considering India’s demographic dividend and identifying the skill gap, especially in the semiconductor industry, IIT Bombay and Applied Materials India announced India’s first certification course in semiconductor technology and manufacturing to develop a highly trained, high-tech workforce. This initiative was highlighted by the Ministry of Electronics and IT, Government of India for its significance in the IIT ecosystem.
Satya, country president, Applied Materials India added “We are excited to celebrate 15 years of strategic partnership with IIT Bombay – a relationship that has grown into a role model for industry-academia partnerships. The world-class talent in partnership with IIT Bombay’s faculty has helped us solve some of the toughest problems our industry has faced. Over the years, we have sponsored more than 100 technology projects involving semiconductors, materials engineering, nanotechnology, renewable energy, bioscience and many more. We are proud of this association that provides next-generation innovators a platform to flourish and create a strong ecosystem for semiconductor technology in the country.”
The semiconductor fabrication systems that IIT Bombay received in 2007 enabled broad collaboration through R&D projects. These systems are used to perform research on novel germanium-based logic transistors and flash memory devices, and to improve solar cell technology. In 2011, Applied Materials India inaugurated its ‘Chemistry Lab for Energy and Nanoelectronics’ (CLEAN). This lab expanded the scope of the collaboration and is used in the development of new materials for electronic and renewable energy-focused applications, including next-generation solar cells.
In 2013, Applied Materials inaugurated the Exploration Centre at IIT Bombay, which serves as an important R&D lab for the company. The Centre drives innovation in exciting areas of nanofabrication, materials synthesis and commercialization, sustainable chemical science, health sciences and engineering. This on-campus center has dozens of engineers and chemists conducting cutting-edge research on advanced materials, coatings and chemistry. Such advanced research supports Applied Materials’ semiconductor and display business units in emerging areas like AI, life sciences, energy storage and AR/VR.