Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India has funded setting up a Technical Research Centre for Molecules and Materials at IACS, under the new initiative announced as a part of Finance Minister’s Budget Speech 2014. The proposed duration of the Centre is 5 years, which will operate in project mode and will be integrated with the mainstream research activity at IACS after the project tenure.
The Centre has a clear translational goal of taking basic research findings to industry by developing technology through PPP model. The Centre is expected to increase research collaboration in interdisciplinary areas, bringing about an emphasis on experimental research having theoretical foundation, foraying into emerging and frontier areas of quantum materials, advanced materials, nanomaterials, biologically inspired materials, biomaterials, photovoltaic materials, polymeric materials and exploring biological investigations for societal, environmental and therapeutic applications and so on.
IACS has years-old tradition and expertise of carrying along strong and unique synergy in research between Chemistry, Physics and Biology with an aim to constantly explore possibilities of applying the research findings to technology development that will be useful for society and mankind. A Technical Research Centre in IACS will indeed be a significant step towards consolidating molecules and materials research and translational work.
The Technical Research Centre at IACS is envisaged to increase research collaboration in the interdisciplinary areas, foraying into new vistas of translational research. As is clear now, the next several decades would continue to belong to the materials because all technological innovations will be driven by developing materials and there appears to be a fantastic period ahead when biology, chemistry, physics and technology will meet together to define molecules and materials with new functionalities and properties that could not have been conceived earlier.
Keeping this in mind the TRC in IACS will cover a variety of areas such as nanomaterials, quantum materials, functional polymers and other organic molecules and systems, materials with spintronics applications, strongly correlated electron systems, bio-materials and biology-inspired materials. Under this initiative, we plan to put together several advanced instruments and facilities that would facilitate interdisciplinary research in materials, both in terms of synthesis of materials and investigation of their properties and functionalities, with the translational goal of developing applications and technologies based on such molecules and materials.
Patents: Filed a patent on “MMTr-protected H-phosphonate monomers and MMTr-deprotection by organic acids are the right combination of morpholino oligonucleotides synthesis” (Patent Application No. as 201631037420, 2nd November, 2016).
Interaction with Industries: An industry-academia conclave has been recently organized at IACS to initiate collaborative work between TRC scientists and suitable industry partners. Another such conclave will be organized in September-October 2017.
Technologies Developed/Deployed/Demonstrated/Commercialised: A product has been transferred from the TRC to Tata Steel Pvt. Ltd. for testing its efficacy to removed cyanide from industrial waste water. In small scale the compound showed promising results.
Start-ups launched/incubated: Industry partners have been identified for joint venture such as: (i) Negotiations are going on between TRC scientists and Bangalore based NGO called “DART (Dystrophy annihilation research trust)” and with Dr. Paul Morcos, USA (http://www.oligoexpert.com) for the scale up of the product and possible commercialization of the product. (ii) A joint research project has been initiated between a TRC scientist and Unilever Pvt. Ltd. on development of smart cosmetics. (iii) A project has been initiated and funded by Tata Steel Pvt. Ltd. to TRC scientists on developing materials for toxic anion removal from water.