BioSpectrum India Magazine November issue BioSpectrum India Magazine - Page 47 | November 2017 | BioSpectrum l ACADEMIC NEWS Infosys signs MoU with IISc Infosys Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Infosys, has signed Rs 5 crore MoU with Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, to enhance infrastructure and broaden research activities at the Centre for Infectious Diseases Research (CIDR). With this MoU, Infosys Foundation aims to set milestones in the area of research of infectious diseases. The foundation will focus on motivating researchers to perform cutting-edge research, as well as train them to raise awareness about infectious diseases. Rs 5 crore grant will be used towards research, training and creating awareness, about infectious diseases, benefiting 25 faculty members and 250 students at IISc. IISc is a public university for research and higher education in all science and engineering disciplines. This association will facilitate an interdisciplinary approach, with a focus on research about infectious diseases, leading to the development of new drug targets, drug delivery systems and novel diagnostic tools. IIT-M gets a new biotechnology block Indian Institute of Technology Madras’ Biotechnology Department has got new state-of-the-art research facilities with the inauguration of a new Block recently. The Block-2 of Bhupat and Jyoti Mehta School of Biosciences, Department of Biotechnology, IIT Madras, was inaugurated by Jyoti Mehta in the presence of Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, Rahul Mehta, CEO, The Mehta Family Foundation, and other faculty. The Mehta Family Foundation, Houston, Texas has sponsored the Block-2, which will enable the expansion of Department of Biotechnology, IIT Madras, and accommodate special facilities such as an Animal House and a Cancer Tissue Bank. They had earlier sponsored construction of Block 1 of Bhupat and Jyoti Mehta School of Biosciences, and it now houses the Department of Biotechnology. The major additions in Block 2 are the National Cancer Tissue Biobank (NCTB) and the Animal House. The NCTB, a state- of-the-art non-profit community based tissue bank, is a joint initiative of Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt of India, and IIT Madras. It will collect cancer tissue samples with consent from patients diagnosed with cancer. Information about the previous medical history and treatment of the donors is also documented along with the tissue samples. Bengaluru to have first multi-faceted AI centre Bengaluru will house the country’s first multi-faceted artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics centre to tap the potential of data analytics, an emerging technology, for various eco-systems in the state. The centre will come up at the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) campus in Bengaluru and the state government has earmarked an initial grant of Rs 5 crore for the purpose. The centre is being established on the recommendation of Karnataka Knowledge Commission (KKC) which had constituted a special task group on artificial intelligence. The 18-member task group is co-chaired by Chiranjib Bhattacharya, professor, Department of Computer Science and Automation, Indian Institute of Science, and Venkatesh Valluri, chairman and president of Ingersoll Rand (India Region). There are plans to offer courses for students on various aspects of data analytics and related fields and curriculum will be prepared soon. At the same time, the state government intends to formulate a policy for hi-tech and frontier industries like 3D printing, robotics, nano technology, big data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, stem cell research, bespoke DNA medicine among others. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has been running the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR) since 1986 in Bengaluru. However, CAIR caters more towards providing technological and secure communication and information systems for the defence services. 47