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 Climate Change

Published on: Sept. 9, 2020, 4:54 p.m.
Sona Comstar tackles urban mobility
  • The I-TEC techno park in IIT-D’s Sonipat campus aims at cleaner and smoother travel solutions

By Sekhar Seshan. Consulting Editor, Business India

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has tied up with automotive systems and components manufacturer Sona Comstar and the Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT) to encourage start-ups in the domain of safe, clean and eco-friendly mobility. Sona Comstar is an Indian-origin global company which is the world’s largest for precision forged gears for differentials, while FITT is a 28-year-old autonomous body set up by IIT-D to leverages its intellectual and infrastructural resources.

The trio have invited applications from young Indian start-ups working in electric vehicle (EV) technologies, vehicle safety solutions, other efficient mobility and connectivity solutions for a unique incubation and acceleration programme.

Two of these will be chosen every year and supported with up to Rs80 lakh each to complete proof of concept and develop prototypes. The additional advantage is that IIT-D’s technical expertise, along with a strong mentor network for business guidance, will be available to them for developing and deploying their solutions.

Smart, safe and clean mobility solutions are of paramount importance, especially in the urban regions which are grappling with challenges like traffic and pollution caused due to ever-increasing population in such centres, says Dr Ashutosh Pastor, manager – incubation at FITT. There is an unmet need for a multi-faceted approach in improving the urban mobility to make it faster, efficient and clean.

IIT-D has gradually evolved from a knowledge institution to a ‘knowledge enterprise’ thanks to its active interfacing with business and community and emerged as a top-ranked higher education institution, Pastor points out. Since it adopted its IPR policy in 1994, over 950 patents have been filed and close to 120 technologies licensed or transferred. It was also one of the earliest institutes to initiate an incubation programme, more than two decades ago.

FITT, which operates the Technology Business Incubation Unit (TBIU) on campus, has been instrumental in converting novel technological concepts and ideas into commercially viable opportunities. The IIT-D incubator programme is inclusive, being open to people from outside of the IIT system as well

Recognising that the next frontier towards diffusion of the results of cutting-edge R&D is in creating world-class infrastructure including facilities for incubation and skills enhancement for design and development of advanced technologies, it is achieving this through its programme for incubation centres and research parks.

The Rs1,500-crore Sona Comstar, which has 10 plants in India, China, Mexico and the US a global market share of 6 per cent in this market, is also the producer of the world’s lightest starter motor. In addition to differential gears, the company produces BSG (belt starter generator) solutions for hybrid cars, traction motors for EV applications, starter motors, alternators, transmission gears, axle stubs and differential assemblies for both electric and combustion engine vehicles.


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