CHENNAI : Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) launched 15
Centres of Excellence (CoE) as part of the ‘Institute of Eminence’ (IoE) Scheme at an event
held at the campus today (24th May 2023).
These Centres will be undertaking cutting-edge research to develop next-generation
technologies and create a significant impact not just in India but internationally as well.
The IoE Scheme was launched by the Government of India to empower Higher Educational
Institutions to become world-class teaching and research institutions. IIT Madras, one of the
pre-eminent institutions in India, was chosen in 2019. It has established several research
initiatives in diverse fields with funds from IoE grants.
The financial support through IoE will enable IIT Madras faculty members to pursue ambitious
research goals, undertake cutting-edge projects and attract top talent to work on ground-
breaking research topics.
IIT Madras had identified 68 research initiatives across 21 technology clusters in diverse fields
in Phase I. Through an extensive and rigorous review process, the Institute shortlisted 15
Centres of Excellence within the IIT Madras system alongside 23 Research Centres and 10
Research Projects in Phase II.
These research initiatives encompass a broad spectrum of disciplines and involve over 400
faculty members. By fostering interdisciplinary research, they facilitate collaborations that can
lead to ground-breaking discoveries, innovations, and advancements in key areas.
Addressing the launch event, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, said, “A substantial
amount of the IoE funding has been invested in the development of research. We had a first set
of exploratory research grant through which around 68 projects had been funded. Based on the
deliverables of those projects, we shortlisted 15 for which today we are announcing the ‘Centre
of Excellence’ status. These centres are expected to become world class and bring eminence to
Prof. V. Kamakoti said, “These centres are predominantly interdisciplinary, involving faculty
from more than three departments and working on niche technologies. As an example, we have
CoEs on Quantum Diamond and Emergent Material, electronics, and aerospace engineering,
among others, touching all departments of the Institute. The outcome from these centres is
envisaged to have multiple ideas that are state-of-the-art that can lead to extensive
commercialization, product development, and technologies. We are looking at several start-ups
to come from these CoEs and extensive collaboration with the Industry.”
Prof. V. Kamakoti added, “I also thank Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi (Former Director) who
conceived this idea, and the Ministry of Education for recognizing IIT Madras as an ‘Institute of
These CoEs are dedicated to specific areas of study and are expected to reach the top
five in the world in terms of research and innovation. They are intended to serve as hubs of
excellence, attracting top talent and foster interdisciplinary collaboration.
Speaking later, Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Institute Professor, and Former Director, IIT
Madras, said, “We wanted breakthroughs in research by discovering teams that have a critical
mass of faculty with demonstrated capacity to achieve results and have audacious goals. This
has to be in emerging areas...In the next five years, we have definitely expect at least half-a-
dozen or more world-class CoEs. Some of the external reviewers of these Centre Proposals told
us that few of these centres can already be considered among the top ten globally.”
Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi added, “IIT Madras must succeed in its IoE Mission not just to
meet the expectations of the IoE program but to reinvigorate the quest of our pioneers. We must
vigorously build instruments and collect primary data.”
The IoE funding will facilitate stronger collaborations with industry partners, leading to
technology transfer and commercialization of research outcomes. The Institute envisions
successful partnerships with corporations, start-ups and industry leaders, resulting in the
development of cutting-edge technologies, products, and solutions that address real-world
challenges and contribute to economic growth.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Raghunathan Rengasamy, Dean (Global Engagement),
IIT Madras, said, “The IoE funding has not only had a direct impact on our research output but
has also elevated our global standing and reputation. It has positioned IIT Madras as a leading
institution for transformative research and innovation, attracting collaborations with renowned
researchers and institutions from around the world. These collaborations have further enhanced
our research capabilities, expanded our knowledge base, and opened doors to new
opportunities for our faculty and students.”
Further, Prof. Raghunathan Rengasamy said, “In addition to our research initiatives, IIT
Madras places great emphasis on fostering international collaborations and promoting global
academic mobility. Through robust partnerships with renowned universities and research
institutions worldwide, we engage in collaborative research projects, joint publications, and
knowledge exchange programs. These international faculty collaborations have proven
invaluable, offering diverse perspectives, expanding networks, and resulting in joint research
publications and intellectual contributions of global recognition.”
The goal is not only to achieve individual research milestones but also to create an environment
of cross-cultural collaboration and learning, thereby fostering overall growth and development.
The IoE funding has also facilitated the establishment of state-of-the-art infrastructure, research
facilities, and technology platforms, which are instrumental in driving scientific advancements.
The funds allocated through the IoE Initiatives at IIT Madras have been primarily utilized for
purchasing capital equipment and supporting research-related expenses. These strategic
investments have enabled the Institute researchers to access state-of-the-art equipment and
facilities, empowering them to conduct cutting-edge experiments and analyses that push the
boundaries of knowledge.
The 15 Centres of Excellence that are being inaugurated are
1. Critical Transitions in Complex Systems
2. NDE 5.0 – Industrial Assets and Process Management
3. Centre of Excellence on Molecular Materials and Functions
4. Technologies for Low Carbon and Lean Construction
5. Healthcare and Assistive Technologies
6. Maritime Experiments to Maritime Experience
7. Centre for Quantum Information, Communication and Computing
8. Sports Science and Analytics
9. Centre for Soft Matter
10. Center of Excellence in RF, Analog, and Mixed Signal ICs
11. Atomistic Modelling and Materials Design
12. Geophysical Flows Lab
13. Centre for Cancer Genomics and Molecular Therapeutics
14. Quantum Center for Diamond and Emergent Materials
15. Energy Consortium
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