The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, one of India’s premier institutes of engineering and scientific research, proudly celebrated 15 years of industry-academia partnership with Applied Materials India Private Limited, a subsidiary of materials engineering leader, Applied Materials, Inc. This successful partnership has led to a series of industry-first initiatives in India and has become a reference point for industry-academia collaborations.
An early and unique milestone of the collaboration was the establishment of India’s first and only academic ‘Nanomanufacturing Lab’ with industry-proven fabrication systems, which laid the foundation for other partnerships to follow. In line with its commitment to IIT Bombay and in support of India’s vision of becoming an electronics manufacturing hub, Applied Materials India became the anchor client at IIT Bombay’s Research Park. The Research Park is setup to enable technology-focused companies to co-locate R&D assets at IIT Bombay. Applied Materials India occupies the largest square feet of space at the park.
Considering India’s demographic dividend and identifying the skill gap, especially in the semiconductor industry, IIT Bombay and Applied Materials India announced India’s first certification course in semiconductor technology and manufacturing to develop a highly trained, high-tech workforce. This initiative was highlighted by the Ministry of Electronics and IT, Government of India for its significance in the IIT ecosystem.
Talking about this long-term association, Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri, Director – IIT Bombay, said, “I take immense joy and pride in commemorating 15 years of our relationship with Applied Materials. This partnership has enabled deep academia-industry collaboration, spanning over half a dozen departments at IIT Bombay. Over fifty of our faculty and many more of our students have fuelled this relationship, by creating value for a global leader in semiconductor technology. I look forward to watching this relationship grow in the years to come.”
Srinivas Satya, Country President, Applied Materials India added “We are excited to celebrate 15 years of strategic partnership with IIT Bombay – a relationship that has grown into a role model for industry-academia partnerships. The world-class talent in partnership with IIT Bombay’s faculty has helped us solve some of the toughest problems our industry has faced. Over the years, we have sponsored more than 100 technology projects involving semiconductors, materials engineering, nanotechnology, renewable energy, bioscience and many more. We are proud of this association that provides next-generation innovators a platform to flourish and create a strong ecosystem for semiconductor technology in the country.”
The semiconductor fabrication systems that IIT Bombay received in 2007 enabled broad collaboration through R&D projects. These systems are used to perform research on novel germanium-based logic transistors and flash memory devices, and to improve solar cell technology. In 2011, Applied Materials India inaugurated its ‘Chemistry Lab for Energy and Nanoelectronics’ (CLEAN). This lab expanded the scope of the collaboration and is used in the development of new materials for electronic and renewable energy-focused applications, including next-generation solar cells.
In 2013, Applied Materials inaugurated the Exploration Centre at IIT Bombay, which serves as an important R&D lab for the company. The Centre drives innovation in exciting areas of nanofabrication, materials synthesis and commercialization, sustainable chemical science, health sciences and engineering. This on-campus center has dozens of engineers and chemists conducting cutting-edge research on advanced materials, coatings and chemistry. Such advanced research supports Applied Materials’ semiconductor and display business units in emerging areas like AI, life sciences, energy storage and AR/VR.
The addition of new capabilities, infrastructure and world-class talent have augmented the value creation aspect for both parties involved. Over the years, the collaboration has not only grown and flourished, but also adapted to evolving technology needs. A testament to this is IIT Bombay and Applied Materials India coming together to support India’s fight against COVID-19 by exploring solutions like anti-viral coatings which can be sprayed on surfaces, human-safe UV sanitizing solutions, ozone sterilizers and low-cost ventilator solutions.
Dr. Suraj Rengarajan, India CTO, Applied Materials India said, “As we look to the future, IIT Bombay as an ‘institute of eminence’ provides the opportunity to expand this visionary collaboration into exciting, emerging areas like nanofabrication, manufacturing and materials, sustainable chemical science, health sciences and engineering.”