Top ranking Indian Institute of Technology looks to globally-recognized Research Triangle Park and North Carolina State University Centennial Campus as possible model for its own research park
Research Triangle Park in North Carolina and North Carolina State University Centennial Campus served as examples to a recent delegation from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar, as they begin planning their own research park now under development in Gandhinagar, India.
RTI International, one of the world’s leading applied research institutes headquartered in Research Triangle Park, hosted the three-day workshop in June to help leaders from IIT Gandhinagar to conceptualize a strategic plan for the park’s development. The IITGN research park is funded by the government of India to boost more effective industry-academia interaction leading to more applied research having potential for commercialization and to improve industrial process and technologies.
Public, private and university sector leaders from Research Triangle Park convened to discuss park management structure, governance, tenant recruitment and tactics for collaboration with the state and private sector. The delegation also gained practical insights on defining stakeholder roles in park development, creating an ecosystem for incubation, and cultivating applied research synergies between industry, the Institute and government.
“Research Triangle Park is regarded as one of the best examples of a research park in the world,” said Myles F. Elledge, senior director of international development policy and planning at RTI. “We hope the delegation will draw from the experience in the Research Triangle Park region, and see first-hand how the park has been a major driver to creating public sector-private sector-university applied research collaborations that have fostered a vibrant regional knowledge-based economy.”
The delegation, comprised of the leadership team at IIT Gandhinagar, visited the Research Triangle Foundation, North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus, and the Durham American Underground start-up incubator, one of the top incubators in the United States.
The IIT Gandhinagar research park will be housed in IIT Gandhinagar campus using funds from a Government of India competitive grant award. IIT Gandhinagar has already launched an incubator which is also being housed in the research park building.
“The Research Park at IIT Gandhinagar will help create a vibrant ecosystem of sustained industry-academia engagement by providing a strong interface between industry and the Institute”, said Sudhir K Jain, Director of IIT Gandhinagar. “Insights into the experiences of Research Triangle Park and the Centennial Campus will be extremely valuable in developing our own strategic plan for the park.”
The purpose of the research park is to build university and industry collaborations, increase research and development, and build an eco-system to create a talented workforce linked to robust applied research programs. The park will seek to build collaborations that play to key regional strengths and needs such as process engineering, environmental technologies and biotechnology. The first phase of the park will include 100,000 square feet of built-up space.
This university-led research park initiative is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Following the RTI-led research park workshop, the IITGN team is visiting and working with Duke University in a related initiative on managing applied research programs, faculty development and university communications, also in collaboration with USAID.
The Research Triangle Park is a highly successful high-technology research and science park. It thrives on the collaboration from three universities: Duke University in Durham, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University in Raleigh.