Encourage startups and young scientists in technical textiles: Piyush Goyal

Encourage startups and young scientists in technical textiles: Piyush Goyal

The industry must encourage startups and young scientists in the niche areas like technical textiles, said Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, during a recently held review meeting of Textile Research Associations (TRAs) in New Delhi.

Piyush Goyal asked Textile Research Associations to submit proposals to the Ministry for any support they require to reach world class levelsofrobust state-of-the-art labs, modern machinery, amongst others. The Minister added that the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) could provide necessary support in modernising the labs of TRAs.

In consonance with the vision to foster innovation and drive science-centric sustainable growth, Piyush Goyal suggested to create a special fund to increase the number of scientists in TRAs. Minister pointed out the need to assess the projects till their last mile success and added that the projects may be sanctioned accordingly to make them commercially viable. He noted that for medical textiles the research is incomplete without the clinical trials. Therefore, costs associated with clinical trials may also be taken into account while recommending future projects in technical textiles.

He directed the officials to fastrack the clearance of patents filed by the government related bodies, in a time bound manner. Goyal asked to explore the possibilities of merging TRAs or fostering partnership among TRAs engaged in similar kind of research in order to bring synergy among these bodies. He  also instructed that the quarterly engagement of TRAs with the ministry be institutionalised.

The review meeting under the Chairmanship of Piyush Goyal was attended by Dr V K Saraswat, Member (Science and Technology), NITI Aayog, Prof Ajay K Sood, Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India and representative of 8 TRAs (affiliated bodies under the Ministry of Textile), namely, Ahmedabad Textile Industry’s Research Association (ATIRA), The Bombay Textile Research Association (BTRA), Surat-based Man-Made Textiles Research Association (MANTRA), Ghaziabad-based Northern India Textile Research Association (NITRA), Mumbai-based Synthetic & Art Silk Mills Research Association (SASMIRA), Coimbatore-based South India Textile Research Association (SITRA), Thane (Maharashtra) based Wool Research Association (WRA), and Kolkata-based Indian Jute Industries’ Research Association (IJIRA).

Dr V K Saraswat said, “TRAs need to work ontaking their research at commercially viable level and bring the final product to the market. The focus is required on reducing the imports of important products and increase their indigenous production.”

Prof Ajay K Sood, Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India, highlighted the importance of having incubation centers in TRAs. He emphasised on the need to research on HEPA filters, which has a huge potential in future. He also asked TRAs to identify the products which are mainly imported and urged them to direct their research activities to these products in order to achieve self-sustainability.

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