Our Contributions

The projects address a wide variety of problems – from those that concern the desires of a common man to build an affordable house to those that concern the nation for putting satellites into orbit. A brief summary of the achievements in a few of the projects carried out at CSIC is presented here. Many of these collaborations display the kind of fruitful interaction between academia and industry.

Industry

Many projects undertaken by CSIC are of direct benefit to industry itself, aiding self-reliance and indigenization. Given below are sample of the work undertaken.

The Power Electronics Group at IISc with closely interaction with Indian and Multinational Industries have carried out several R&D under the broad classification of analysis, modeling, simulation, design, fabrication and evaluation of Power Electronic Systems. Some of the projects undertaken for industry are Resonant Converters, Furnace Power Supplies, Switched Reluctance Motor Drives, Induction Motor Drive, DSP Controllers, Photovoltaic Systems and Electric Vehicles.

The Indian Spice industry has been greatly benefited by the indigenous development of the cryogrinding technology for grinding spices at the Centre for Cryogenic Technology. The cryopulveriser, an indigenous technology for processing plastic scrap has also been developed.

Particle reinforced aluminium matrix composites – an Indian innovation in the department of Metallurgy has found several applications in the industry.

Research in mechanics of structural failure and the development of smart structure concepts has made it possible to design structures for online health monitoring such that the stressing situation and the possibility of failure are revealed online so that corrective measures could be initiated. The department of Aerospace Engineering has pioneered basic studies on composite panels including smart patches such that some of the patches act as actuators and the others as sensors to determine criticality of damage at any instant of time during the service of the structure. The important feature of smart structural concepts is the automatic reduction of vibration levels in structural components which has several applications in the industry.

The thin films group at the Institute had its biggest success when the Optical Coating Technology was transferred to industry and the device qualified not only for light combat aircraft but was also projected for the future requirement in aircrafts and Sukhoi fighter aircrafts. The R&D on thin film strain gauges have yielded gauges which were tested in satellites for space applications on one side and for fontanelle and anorectal applications in the biomedical area.

The development of a novel, cost-efficient, rapid-thermally-activated chemical reaction process to produce tin-oxide-coated plastic grids for lead/acid battery plates (75% reduction in grid weight) by the scientists at the Institute has opened up a whole realm of possibilities in lead/acid battery development and promises to lower the cost of both materials and manufacturing.

Building and Geotechnology

A major proportion of developmental work in our social fabric is directed towards construction of building, dams, highways, and the like. Hence, it is only natural that a good number of projects undertaken by CSIC are in this area. Soil analysis, proof checking and evaluating designs of foundations, building frameworks, water tanks, reservoirs, power houses, designs of concrete mixes, embankment dams, analyzing stability and bearing capacity of dams and bridges under moving loads and suggesting remedial measures are a few of the tasks undertaken through CSIC. The innovative approaches evolved by our faculty are responsible for several cost saving solutions for a wide spectrum of bridges, dams and multistory buildings. The large number of clientele in this category bears testimony to our faculty’s capabilities and commitments.

Significant work on testing the resistances of atomic power plants, tank bunds to earthquakes has been done. Surge protection systems for various pumping mains across the country were done.

In an important application of aerospace technology to industrial use, the wind tunnels at the IISc have been frequently used for testing and evaluating design of structures such as chimney of power stations, cooling towers and railway engines and coaches for stability against wind effects.

The box jacking technique for making subways in cities developed by the Civil Engineering Department has won accolades as it does not disturb the traffic on road and is done using the locally available skills and talents.

Energy

Electrical power generation is vital to the industrial and economic development of a nation. The task is to meet the increasing demand for power, achieve uninterrupted and reliable supply of power and also bring power to the remotest areas. The Institute has been deeply involved in evolving a complex inter-connected network system necessary for achieving these goals.

The technology transfer of biomass gasifier developed by IISc to private industry has seen several hundred installations and has been servicing for almost a decade.

Water

Water is a scarce resource in a rain fed country like India, hence effective water management and utilization are crucial tasks. Projects have been directed at aiding policies for optimal and multiple utilization of water resources for drinking, irrigation and power generation purposes.

Software and computer simulation models have been developed at the Institute for solving many water management problems. Based on these computer models, the improvement of water supply distribution systems in cities to bring about equitable distribution of water was suggested to the various clients.

Health

Consultancy projects involving research in the frontier areas of biotechnology have been of great significance in aiding development of improved diagnostic methods, drugs and preventive measures for a number of tropical diseases.

A third generation semi quantitative micro well ELISA test for HIV-1 and 2 antibodies has been developed by a private industry in collaboration with the Molecular Biophysics Unit, IISc. This is the first indigenously developed HIV kit to be marketed in India after clearance by the Drugs Controller of India.

Computers and Automation

Computers and automation have revolutionized industrial and management processes everywhere. Keeping in step with this change, scientist at the Institute have aided a large variety of industries and Government organizations to upgrade and modernize their operations by designing and developing the necessary hardware and software.

The banking sector in particular has considerably gained from the expertise at the Supercomputer Education Research Centre in designing IT architecture based on the existing IT based solutions and providing customized solutions so that the benefits of IT reach the customers and at the same time the employee productivity increases considerably.

Algorithms developed at the CAD Lab, Mechanical Engineering for feature recognition have been transferred to the industry, which forms the core of a software component developed by the industry that is used by almost all the leading CAD systems to provide feature recognition capabilities.

Research at the Electronic Enterprises Laboratory, Computer Science and Automation, is motivated by a strong conviction that business processes in electronic enterprises can be designed to deliver high levels of performance through the use of appropriate mathematical modeling. This has resulted in several projects over the years like EBIZCHEM for electronic trading of chemicals, PROMISE for e-procurement marketplace where an innovative approach to multi-attribute combinatorial auction algorithm was provided, SIX SIGMA SUPPLY CHAIN for designing complex supply chain networks with six sigma levels of delivery performance.

Space and Defence

The Institute has aided the nation’s effort to become self-reliant in space and defence sectors. Many aircraft designed by HAL including the recent Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), launch vehicles of ISRO and missiles of DRDO have been tested for performance prediction in the wind tunnels at the Institute and critical design inputs have been obtained from these tests.

Agriculture

Research in Agricultural Biotechnology has led to isolation of gene encoding for LPE acltransferase in Brassica and groundnut systems. The isolated gene is used to reduce the polyunsaturated fatty acid content in oilseeds for improved shelf life in oil. The same gene is used to improve the nutritional quality of the oil.

Chili, tomato and cotton are often infected by viruses. Research in the area of engineering resistance to plant viruses has resulted in generation of transgenic chili, tomato and cotton plants and this work was done in collaboration with an industry partner.

The use of bioreactors developed at the Centre for Sustainable Technologies in the coffee growing areas has resulted in lower fossil fuel use and very low levels of pollutant discharge to finally make coffee cultivation environment-friendly.

Rural Needs

Work at the Institute has not only benefited urban-oriented, large-scale industry. The importance of bringing technology to rural areas to enable a more equitable sharing of the fruits of scientific development between rural and urban areas is understood well by the scientists at the Institute.

SuTRA (Sustainable Technologies for Rural Areas) have found that oil from oilseeds of pongamia or honge trees could be a diesel substitute in diesel engines. The oils obtained are low cash out-flow options for the farmers since they grow the trees in their lands. Therefore the oil fueled engines could meet the requirements for irrigation, water pumping, food processing and any home industries in the villages. In fact villages can be net exporters of this energy resource after being self sufficient to meet their requirements. Thus oil from tree borne seeds should provide affordable energy supplies in rural India.

Environment

With the growing realization that development should not result in a degraded and polluted environment, the goal now is sustainable development which means that action for protecting the environment is built into the development plan itself.

The Institute is at the forefront nationally and globally, on climate change related issues in forests, renewable energy, and energy efficiency improvement sectors due to the pioneering work carried out in the above areas by the Centre for Sustainable Technologies and the Centre for Ecological Sciences.

Manpower Training

The Institute also undertakes manpower training programmes for specific groups and purposes. These training programmes are often as a part of transfer of technology and product/ process/system design exercises in order to ensure that the assimilation of the outcome of the consultancy work is smoother.

Manpower Training

The Institute also undertakes manpower training programmes for specific groups and purposes. These training programmes are often as a part of transfer of technology and product/ process/system design exercises in order to ensure that the assimilation of the outcome of the consultancy work is smoother.

CSIC is also engaged in disseminating research results to the wider community through newsletters, brochures and audiovisual aids including documentary films. Vichara, the Institute lecture series by eminent men of science and letters is aimed at widening the horizons of industrial experience.

The CSIC has a growing perception of the need for academic institution to reach out to industry. Its goal is to help industry to help itself in solving its problems. It is for industry too to seek the support of CSIC in solving its problems and to enable CSIC to grow into a responsive and reliable partner in the advance of industry towards progress.