IT Madras: The CSR-funded projects undertaken by IIT Madras also help in meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

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On July 14, 2022, in Bengaluru, the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) held a colloquium to present its cutting-edge technology initiatives to corporate leaders.

The conclave, with the theme “Leveraging Technology to Drive your CSR,” was intended to reach out to corporations and raise their knowledge of the different technological advancements being made at the Institute to address the nation’s most pressing socio-economic problems.

The event, which was sponsored by IIT Madras’ Office of Alumni and Corporate Relations, also emphasised how corporations are becoming more interested in funding research to increase social impact at scale as part of their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) ties with IIT Madras. On technology-driven CSR projects that have a societal impact across the various UN-SDGs (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals), IIT Madras has worked with over 200 corporate partners. Nine academic members from IIT Madras presented their research and the effects that their ideas and initiatives would have in several fields of expanding social importance.

This was the first outreach event on CSR organised by IIT Madras at Bengaluru, to create awareness of IITM’s extensive work across socially relevant themes and consequently, to explore CSR synergies with several corporates based out of the same region.

Senior executives from top corporations and organisations, including Mphasis, CGI, Collins Aerospace, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Sabre Global Capability Centre, Bosch, BIALAI, Cytiva, 3M, Intel, and Suez Water Technologies, participated in the conclave. We are thrilled to engage with Corporate Partners in Bengaluru to support local communities, said Mahesh Panchagnula, Dean of Alumni and Corporate Relations at IIT Madras, in his address to the Conclave. This event was just a small sample of some important fields where technology produced by IIT Madras has actually changed the game, including climate change, women’s empowerment, sustainable infrastructure, and edu-skilling. In fact, we are observing that top corporations are choosing to use their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) financing to support research, innovation, and technology for a better world.

Kaviraj Nair, Chief Executive Officer, Office of Institutional Advancement, IIT Madras, commented on the significance of technology-driven CSR by saying, “It is very encouraging to see the eagerness of corporates to partner with globally-renowned academic institutions like IIT Madras to work on socially-relevant transformational projects. It also demonstrates our capacity to bring about societal change through effective interventions. Corporate organisations would undoubtedly advance in their efforts to make meaningful contributions to society if they can take advantage of the expertise and experience found in prestigious academic institutions like IIT Madras.

Nirbhay Lumde, CSR Lead, CGI, remarked during the conclave: “It has been eye-opening to observe the significant contribution of IIT Madras in the fields of technology and innovation that drives our world today. I’m happy to have facilitated a debate on cutting-edge approaches to solving problems related to sustainable housing, water, and climate concerns that the world is currently facing, as well as how funding research under CSR can be the solution. IIT Madras’ CSR-funded programmes aid in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals set forth by the UN (UN SDGs).

Panel discussion

During the conclave, Ligy Philip, Dean (Planning), IIT Madras, Indumathi Nambi, Department of Civil Engineering, and Radhakrishna G Pillai, Department of Civil Engineering, discussed their influential work in the fields of water, sanitation, and construction materials, among others. SM Shiva Nagendra, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras; Nirav Bhatt, Department of Bio-Technology, IIT Madras; and Aravind Kumar Chandiran, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Madras, shared about their cutting-edge, ready-to-scale initiatives in this domain during another panel discussion on “Climate Change (Environment and Air Pollution)”.

Vignesh Muthuvijayan, Coordinator, BSc Degree Program, and Pijush Ghosh, Department of Applied Mechanics, IIT Madras, participated in an interactive panel discussion on “Revolutionizing Edu-Skilling” that focused on the need to develop young people who are prepared for the workforce and how technology is being used to remove barriers to education in a number of related CSR collaborations with IIT Madras. Indumathi M. Nambi, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras; Preeti Aghalayam, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Madras; and Ligy Philip, Dean (Planning), IIT Madras actively participated in a panel discussion on diversity, equity, and women in STEM during the conclave, which sparked lively discussions with everyone in attendance.

Mayank Tewari

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