by Sreedhar R Voleti, MD, UoH-BIONEST
The University of Hyderabad (UoH), a premier institution of post graduate teaching and research in the country was established by an Act of Parliament (Act No. 39 of 1974) on 2nd October, 1974 as a Central University fully funded by the University Grants Commission. For over four decades, it built cutting-edge research and quality education to millions of students. In addition it built unparalleled knowledge-based foundation for nurturing innovations and entrepreneurship activities in various science and engineering disciplines.University of Hyderabad always remained in the top 10 universities of India, and past decade, it has been ranked in the top-3.
The establishment and nurturing of science and technology-based enterprises in academic and research organizations is the new-age thinking of policy makers because of the higher potential in creating dynamic market economies, unmet needs, and more importantly, jobs. As there is rapid development in scientific findings and new technologies in the R&D organizations, various divisions/departments of Ministry of Science & Technology of Govt. of India took the initiative of providing incubation facilities for new entrepreneurs to realize their novel innovative thoughts having high impact to the market needs. Such initiatives are now known by the common name of Technology Business Incubators (TBI), BioNEST (BioincubatorsNuturing Entrepreneurship for Scaling Technologies), or TIDE (Technology Incubation and Development of Entrepreneurship), all of which are focused on developing inventive ideas to innovative R&D, technologies, or products for commercializable intellectual properties and platforms.
University of Hyderabad has a large number of faculty spanning across various disciplines conducting research largely in fundamental and yet some in translational and applied disciplines. These outcomes would find benefit in societal usage in shorter timelines. Yet, only few such outcomes have been translated or created commercializable intellectual properties. University of Hyderabad for long time was mulling over on promoting such translatable research outcomes to industry for further commercialization.
Entrepreneurship drive at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) started a while ago in science and engineering disciplines in partnership with and funding from the Govt. of India with mutually agreeable terms and conditions. Taking advantage of its high-quality knowledge-base developed for over four decades, UoH has established TBI, TIDE, and BioNEST incubators funded from MeITy, DST, and DBT organizations of GOI, respectively – each incubator focusing on to its native strengths of research developed by faculty. These incubators, with a strong determination to nurture early stage innovators/innovations, have been helping all incubatees selected after rigorous scrutiny, with physical and intellectual infrastructure to realize their scalable research, technologies, and product outcomes achieved in realistic timeline manner. More about University of Hyderabad can be found at www.uohyd.ac.in
Structure: TIE-U and UoH-ASPIRE (in full article)
In order to promote the already developed intellectual property at the UoH and enhance industry-academia interactions, UoH has established new department named as Technology, Industry Liaison, and Entrepreneurship Unit (TIE-U). TIE-U at UoH promotes, oversees and commercializes the intellectual properties developed by faculty from various departments of UoH across diverse disciplines at the National and Global levels by creating tie-ups with industry across the globe.
University of Hyderabad has stepped up to diversify its activities by spreading into nurturing entrepreneurial activities for innovations, without compromising on its long-built core academic and educational ecosystem. To create such ecosystem, the UoH added a not-for-profit organization, named UoH-ASPIRE (Association for Scientific Pursuits in Innovative Research Enterprises) that function directly under TIE-U and takes care of all such innovation nurturing incubators and growth-phase centers in the years to come. Prime function of this section-8 company is to manage entire entrepreneurial activities initiated by the UoH in a self-contained and sustained manner.
The board of directors of this company, UoH-ASPIRE, constituted by the internal members of UoH and ex-officio will primarily drive the company and govern its functionality. Currently, all the three incubators TBI, TIDE, and BioNEST at UoH contribute to the financial sustenance of UoH-ASPIRE with defined contribution as agreed by its board of directors. This cooperative financial ecosystem will not only bring organizational structure to the entire entrepreneurial architecture at UoH but also build harmony among the incubators. Any other further incubators established at the UoH Growth-Phase Centers will be joined along with the existing incubators under UoH-ASPIRE, and follow the guidelines established. Graphically, the entire structure of entrepreneurship vertical has been defined and represented as below:
See Fig in Article
The current vice chancellor of UoH, Prof. Apparao Podile says “The University of Hyderabad has seen considerable growth in the past few years, with the introduction of new courses of study, new disciplines, and new initiatives. With the range of disciplines represented and the quality of the faculty and students at UoH, the University- which is among the finest in the country- is well poised to make its mark internationally as well”.UoH also introduced Faculty Entrepreneurship Scheme(FES) allowing faculty to setup companies with novel ideas in order to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. He added, “Probably, we will be the first to allow faculty to do so in public-funded universities,” The university has the ‘best’ talent in the form of faculty, who can make a difference to business and innovation. The focus on research and incentives to be innovative is our way of attracting the best talent both in faculty as well as students”.
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