Special Correspondent

TIRUCHI: The Department of Science and Technology (DST) will soon launch a national innovation project to bridge the gap between innovators and investors, T. Ramasami, Secretary, DST, has said.

He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the new technology incubator building at the Tiruchi Regional Engineering College Science and Technology Entrepreneurs Park (TREC-STEP) here on Saturday.

The project, to be implemented with World Bank support, will put in place a mechanism to extend ‘risk capital’ to innovators. It will also seek to create wealth from innovations. It is likely to be implemented over a seven-year period with an investment of about $165 million. The World Bank has provided a grant for project preparation and the project is likely to go on stream within a year.

Dr. Ramasami also disclosed that the DST was planning to launch the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) during the current academic year itself. The project seeks to reach out to about one million students in the age group of 10 to 17 and encourage them to take up research in science through scholarships. The DST would also play the role of mentor by organising summer science camps for five consecutive years for the top one per cent of the students.

To a query, he said the 11th Plan allocation for the DST was likely to be seven times higher over the 10th Plan period.

The Department had also signed an agreement for the setting up a research facility in Japan to enable young Indian scientists to take up research there in the field of material science including nano science. The DST was looking to enter into agreements with other foreign countries for similar initiatives.