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Varsity plans technology business incubator

Special Correspondent

Pharma companies in Chennai have tied up with Madras University



A view of the Madras university building. — File Photo: K.V. Srinivasan

CHENNAI: A University of Madras project to create a technology business incubator for research and innovation has caught the imagination of pharma companies in the city.

While a couple of firms have tied up with the university for research and medical trials of products, a Chennai-based pharma company is planning to sign an MoU with the university, which is going to celebrate its 150th anniversary later this year.

Vice-Chancellor S.P. Thyagarajan is enthusiastic about the developments. "The TBI basically is a facility with a centralised instrumentation laboratory and several other research laboratories.

A researcher or research team from a pharma firm can use our facilities for creating new products. The TBI will then have two modes of revenue: collecting rent from researchers for using the facilities and joint research activity and sharing intellectual property rights."

The Union Department of Science and Technology provided Rs.3 crore. It expects TBIs to turn self-sustaining after five years. "But going by the projections and the enthusiasm exuded by the pharma companies and the number of patents that we have filed from different departments, it is possible that the incubator can become self-sustaining in three years... " he adds. Prof. Thyagarajan notes that the Union HRD Ministry promised to provide Rs.100 crore for the university's 150th year celebrations.

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