National technology centre for ports opened at IIT-M

Sarbananda Sonowal says the centre will be expanded to include world class multifunctional maritime laboratories in the areas of climate change, marine robotics, marine informatics and analytics, and smart modelling

Updated - April 25, 2023 12:23 am IST

Published - April 24, 2023 08:08 pm IST - CHENNAI

The National Technology Centre for Ports Waterways and Coasts (NTCPWC) was inaugurated  at the Discovery Campus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, at Thaiyur by Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister, Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and AYUSH.

The technology arm of the Ministry of Shipping, the NTCPWC focuses on “Make in India” for Port, Coastal and Inland Water Transport and Engineering by developing state-of-the-art technologies and application products besides fast-track innovations to tackle challenges. The new research facility was a vibrant knowledge centre for for students, the industry and academicians, he said.

On Monday, the Minister was given an overview of the special projects at the Centre and saw a demonstration of the wave basin equipment. He said that the centre will be expanded to include world class multifunctional maritime laboratories in the areas of climate change, marine robotics, marine informatics and analytics, and smart modelling. 

“Additionally, a Maritime Innovation Hub which will work towards fostering start-ups and innovation in the nation shall be set up here. Taking NTCPWC as a role model, more centres of excellence will be set up by the Ministry in the near future,” he added. 

Addressing faculty members, researchers and students, Mr. Sonowal said the cooperation between the Ministry, the Sagarmala programme and IIT Madras will progress towards newer horizons. 

“Going forward, this Centre must go beyond Indian shores and aim to gain recognition and tie up with reputed international stakeholders including universities worldwide. MoUs with 4 foreign institutions have already been signed,” he noted. 

V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT-Madras, said that the NTCPWC was comparable to the best facilities across the world, and that they were establishing the country as a leader and role model. 

“We are looking at more real world deployment of naval related research and development projects. This whole set-up has been done indigenously in India at IIT Madras. India needs to be a completely self-sustaining country and this is an very important step as we move towards the maritime sector,” Mr. Kamakoti said. 

He urged the Minister to consider the development of waterways in Chennai for green transport initiatives. 

K. Murali, Dean (Faculty), IIT Madras, and Head, NTCPWC-IIT Madras, Malini V. Shankar, Vice-Chancellor, Indian Maritime University, Sunil Paliwal, Chairman, Chennai Port Authority, and Venkata Ramana Akkaraju, Chairman, New Mangalore Port Trust, were present.

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