The facility intends to help create several start-ups in the coming years

CHENNAI 13th October 2022: As a part of its 10X programme, IIT-Madras Research Park is betting big in the Assistive Technology (AT) space and intends to help create several start-ups in the coming years.

“The research park is determined to make itself a leader in Assistive Technology. This will enable inclusion for ‘People with Disabilities’ (PwD) and geriatrics, empowering them to live healthy, productive, independent, and dignified lives. India is a large market, and the volume of production can help bridge this gap given research and development and commercialisation happens in India,” Ashok Jhunjhunwala, president, IIT-Madras Research Park, IITM Incubation Cell and RTBI, said while talking at ‘EMPOWER 2022,’ the three-day conference on Assistive Technology (AT) at IIT-Madras Research Park on Thursday. “IIT-Madras Research Park will also work on policies and facilitate donors who would like to support the vision and get the devices to people who cannot afford it,” he added.

Chapal Khasnabis, Head of the Access to Assistive Technology and Medical Devices Unit at World Health Organisation said that Assistive Technology is needed by everyone, especially when one grows old. Citing an example, he said that in India “we don’t see old people in malls and other places whereas in abroad senior citizens help themselves move outside with the help of technology”.

Pradeep Gupta, chairman, Cyber Media Group said that we need to create an ecosystem for AT and also identify funding agencies who would fund such start-ups. “There is a proposal to create an Assistive Technology hub,” he added.

Professor M. Balakrishnan from IIT-Delhi pointed out that there are lot of opportunities to collaborate in this space. During the event, C. K. Ranganathan, chairman and managing director of CavinKare launched the Assistive Technology start-ups database. He also explained how his company has been empowering and recognising the differently abled through the CavinKare Ability Awards.


Author: The Hindu
October 13th, 2022
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