Union Minister Babul Supriyo has said bringing Central funds to West Bengal remains one of his most important endeavours. Supriyo made this comments on Sunday while attending the ground breaking ceremony of the Industrial Research and Innovation Unit for MSMEs and Start-ups at IIT Kharagpur Sunday, stated to be the first one in eastern India.
“I am happy to give away the funds from my ministry because bringing Central funds to West Bengal is one of the most important endeavours I have set for myself,” the Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises said. While the total cost of the proposed project is pegged at Rs. 65.19 crore, the ministry has granted an initial funding of Rs 47.62 crore.
Additional funding of Rs 17.57 crore is being raised from the industrial partners through projects. The IIT Kharagpur has already provided land, technological and infrastructural support to the extent of Rs 25 crore.
Supriyo, who had first mooted the project stated to be eastern India’s first such one, recalled that after taking over charge he came across a small map which showed the centres of excellence in the capital goods sector were either located in the western or southern parts of country and there wasn’t a single one in the eastern parts.
Wondering why there was no such centres of excellence in East, for which his ministry would provide 80 per cent of the grant, he then spoke to IIT KGP Director Prof P P Chakrabarti regarding this, the minister informed. “What you will see in the MSME sector in the next few years are all going to be part of the work that we are putting in jointly,” Supriyo said.
He said now the challenge remained for the MSME Research and Innovation hub to ensure MSMEs and the industrial partners can have state-of-the-art R&D facilities so that they can deliver quality products with high-end technologies at an affordable and competitive price.
The 40000 sq-ft Industrial Research and Innovation Unit will house high-end industrial equipment such as robotic welding facility, industry scale CT scan machine, Robotic 3D laser scanner and many more.
It will support activities such as design, fabrication and automation of manufacturing, digital manufacturing and IoT (internet of Things).
“We have brought in people from various domains such as materials, processes, designers, AI and data sciences and also formed a consortium including industries, DHI and our board of governors to ensure sustainability of this initiative,” Chakrabarti said.
“One of our goals is to facilitate inventing Make in India products for India and abroad through this Innovation Centre,” he said.