Indian Institute of Technology, Madras has entered into the collaboration with the General Electric (GE) to set up a ‘Cold Spray’ SMART (Surface Modification and Additive Research Technologies) on the campus area. The lab was inaugurated by IIT-Madras campus today and is first of its kind High-Pressure Cold Spray (HPCS) facility to be established on the academic institution in India.
The project has been established under the 'Uchchatar Avishkar Yojana' (UAY) by the GoI. The main aim of the UAY scheme is to boost collaboration between academic institutions and the private sector in India.
Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India, along with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), IIT Madras and GE are the major investors in the project.
Speaking about the importance of this collaboration, Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said, "This event signifies one more standard in the evolution of the IITs collaborations with the Industry. The UAY has been successful in drawing the attention of both academia and the industry. The reviews have indicated good progress under this scheme and this facility and the initiative are part of a joint collaboration with GE. This has many applications not just for aviation but many other verticals. I hope some startups come out of this as well."
Highlighting the benefits to the country from this initiative, Mr. Alok Nanda said, "India's Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) market for civilian aircraft is expected to grow at 7% CAGR from its current value of Rs. 4,800 crore. Currently, 90% of the MRO needs of Indian carriers are done outside India. This program will enable strengthening the MRO ecosystem in the country, help develop advanced technical expertise in the country and skill development of our engineers in additive technology. I am excited about this technology partnership with IIT Madras."
GE and IIT Madras have collaborated in the past on several projects and this new collaboration will further strengthen the relationship between the two.
Speaking about this collaboration, Mr. Steve Pisani, General Manager- Advanced Services Technologies, GE Aviation, U.S., said, "Our endeavor is to provide impetus to technological development. Scientists at GE are already combining gas dynamic 'cold spray' deposition technology with robotics and machine learning to build and repair metal parts using additive manufacturing with greater precision which was never a possibility earlier."