The IIT Madras (IITM) got itself a new centre called Gopalakrishnan-Deshpande Centre (GDC) for Innovation & Entrepreneurship on 11 January 2017, named after its alumni patrons. The centre is the brainchild of tech entrepreneur couple Gururaj Deshpande and Jaishree Deshpande and is co-funded by Kris Gopalakrishnan, co-founder of Infosys Ltd. They will put in half a million dollars each a year for five years.
The centre’s mandate is to provide next generation technology solutions to India’s many problems in partnership with the many labs at IITM. The centre’s structure is derived from MIT (Cambridge, USA), University of New Brunswick, Canada (The Pond-Deshpande Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship), at Queens University, Canada (Dunin-Deshpande Queens Innovation Centre), and in Hubballi, Karnataka, India (Deshpande Center for Social Entrepreneurship). It will also be part of a robust network of over 100 institutions that are part of the annual Deshpande Symposium for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
“I am excited and impressed by IITM’s commitment to innovation, entrepreneurship and excellence in everything they do and for making it a part of their DNA in the next decade,” said Desh Deshpande. Mrs. Jaishree Deshpande added, “It makes me very proud that IITM is embracing such a visionary, bold initiative and a practical approach to be relevant to the 21st century”.
Kris Gopalakrishnan said, “The innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem at IITM will get enhanced by the opportunity to learn from the global network of such centers. Also, the research community will get the opportunity to collaborate with other researchers across the network, including market and funding access.”
Prof.Jhunjhunwala, Faculty-in-charge of IITM Research Park and Incubation Cell noted that, “IITM is the front-runner in the nation, driving innovation, excellence in R&D and incubation. This Center will not only help us stay in the front, but get us to do more to solve the problems of the nation.”