In a significant move to boost research and innovation, the Jammu and Kashmir Science, Technology & Innovation Council (JKSTIC) announced a substantial grant of 2.00 crores to the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) Kashmir, here.
The funding aims to support some 72 research projects, addressing diverse areas of local importance. Additionally, seed money has been allocated to 17 innovators to develop prototypes for their innovative ideas, laying the groundwork for patents and start-ups.
The announcement was made during a function held at SKUAST, where the grant was officially handed over. The university has consistently held the top position in the region for innovations, patents, and start-ups, making it a pivotal institution in the field.
The event was attended by Saurabh Baghat, Commissioner Secretary, Science Technology, Prof Nazir Ganie, Vice Chancellor of SKUAST-K, Dr Nasir Shah, Additional Director JKSTIC, Bilal Ahmad, Joint Director JKSTIC and various other departmental heads.
Other notable participants included the Director of Extension, Director of Research, Deans from various departments of SKUAST, faculty members, students, and officers from the Science and Technology Department, highlighting the collaborative spirit among diverse stakeholders.
“Investing in research projects and supporting innovators is not just a financial commitment but a strategic imperative,” Baghat, while describing these endeavours as lifeblood of progress, said. “By funding research and nurturing innovators, we lay the foundation for a brighter, more technologically advanced tomorrow, ensuring that our region remains at the forefront of scientific discovery and innovation.”
JKSTIC, formerly known as J&K Council for Science & Technology, was established in 1989 under the Department of Science & Technology, J&K government. The primary objective of the council is to promote and disseminate science, technology, and innovation in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Additionally, the council serves as a nodal department for organizing and promoting S&T activities across the region.
An important development for the department is the recent launch of the online hub, www.jkinnovation.in, which functions as a centralized repository.
“Here, universities, research and development institutions, IITs, NITs, SKUAST, and other entities have contributed their innovations, research findings, patents, and start-up initiatives,” Dr Shah said.
He informed that JKSTIC is establishing a centre of excellence, namely the Sub-Regional Science Centre, in collaboration with NCSM, Ministry of Culture, Government of India, at Lal Mandi, Srinagar.
Two Industrial Biotechnology Parks, Dr Shah said, are being set up, one in Ghatti Kauthwa, Jammu, and the other in Handwara, Kashmir. These parks are scheduled to commence operations in July 2024, with respective project costs of 20 crores and 85 crores.