DRDO, Nasscom to support AU in taking up research activities
In tune with the new National Education Policy (NEP)- 2021, Andhra University is teaming up the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) and the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom), to take forward its research endeavours.
The DRDO has already agreed to support the AU in its effort for supporting and mentoring its food research and testing laboratory.
DRDO Chairman G. Sateesh Reddy, during his visit to AU on Friday, agreed in principle to support the food research and testing facility, that is coming up in AU under RUSA (Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan) phase-II.
Giving details on the project, AU Vice-Chancellor P.V.G.D. Prasad Reddy said that based on Dr. Sateesh Reddy’s commitment, the Director of Defence Food Research Laboratory Anil Dutt Semwal has already been in touch with the AU and discussion for collaboration is on. Initially, the research would focus on preservation and packaging of local products such as Araku Coffee, pineapple and jackfruit, Prof. Prasad Reddy said.
The research labs, which are coming up with the RUSA Phase-II funds, will be housed in a three-storied building that is coming up at a cost of ₹9 crore.
The RUSA has also sanctioned another ₹9 crore for purchase of the required research equipment. In total, ₹18 crore has been sanctioned.
According to Prof. Prasad Reddy, the building is nearing completion and will be ready for occupation in about two to three months.
“On one floor we will have a research and testing lab for food, and in the other two floors we will have research and testing facility for pharma and genetics,” he said.
For genetics, the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant had already sanctioned ₹65 lakh for equipment from its CSR funds. “For pharmaceuticals, we are trying to tie up with local pharma companies and we have already signed an MoU with Purdue University, USA,” he said.
“The MoU is for one year and will include joint research activity and mentoring.The DRDO has also agreed to support AU in startup incubation centre. The 35,000 sft spread across five floors building has already come up in the AU College of Engineering campus and is being mentored by the STPI. The DRDO will also act as mentor and support financially. The idea is encourage entrepreneurship under the NEP,” said the V-C.
The Nasscom has already entered into an understanding with the State government to set up a Centre of Excellence in AU and the project cost is ₹27 crore, spread over five years.
According to Prof. Prasad Reddy, the CoE will fund research in the areas of artificial intelligence and machine intelligence. This centre is also coming up in AUCoE campus at a sprawling three-storied building with a built space of 30,000 sft.
“We are just waiting for the COVID-19 pandemic to subside to get the CoE operational,” he said.