Research Cafe Seminar by Prof. P. V. Madhusudhan Rao

Aimed at highlighting the need to build a symbiosis between knowledge creation and knowledge application and catalyze the research into products of societal benefits, a seminar was held at the Lecture Hall Complex on September 6.

The talk—Finding Synergy between Knowledge Creation and Knowledge Application delivered by Prof PVM Rao –was a part of the Research Café series of the Institute to ignite a desire for inter-disciplinary study and bring to fore the multifaceted research being done in the labs.

The Seminar focused on how knowledge creation (Research) and knowledge application (Innovation) support each other. The first aspect of the talk covered how the purpose of research becomes more meaningful if new knowledge created can be translated into products and solutions for the benefit of society. The second part of the talk concentrated on how the Knowledge application activities can lead to new research challenges.

“It is not just only the research that makes a great institute but something beyond research. The top universities in the world have created new fields of research, new models of Industry-Institute interactions, new systems of inter-disciplinary interactions and new technologies that have changed the fabric of society,” Prof Rao said.

Referring to the pillars of the top universities including Innovation (Knowledge Application) and Research (Knowledge Creation) he said the synergy between the two led to breakthrough innovations. A lot of knowledge creation activities are happening particularly in institutes such as IITs but they still have synergized with knowledge application to reach to next level.

The need was to see how we convert research output into products that are useful for the society. The incentives for doing this should be in place. Taking an example he mentioned that Europe is an R&D powerhouse with 20% of the global R&D but still it fails to transform leadership in science into leadership in innovation and entrepreneurship, he said adding: “If we work for knowledge applications, collaborations will happen more easily. India is an emerging market. There are many grand challenges and addressing the challenges would give rise to new set of research problems.”

With the help of graphs showcasing his PhD supervisions Pro Rao culled out how initially they were not big in terms of knowledge applications and the objective was to get published in journals. “Somewhere in the middle, we started looking at applied areas. Very recently we found students who had an application with a strong research focus. Engaging in knowledge applications can give many research challenges. There is also a great need to find out how to attract students for research who have prior experience of knowledge application.”

The programme concluded with an interactive question hour session with the audience.