CSIR-IMTECH partners Merck to open a high-tech skill development centre

This first of its kind academia-industry-led, High-Tech Skill Development Centre in Chandigarh has been established to augment Government of India’s initiative for “Skill India” and increase employability opportunities for students in the country

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Dr Shekhar C. Mande, Director General CSIR & Secretary DSIR, inaugurating the Merck High End Skill Development Centre

Chandigarh: In a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership, CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH) in collaboration with Merck inaugurated the High-Tech Skill Development Centre in the area of life sciences. This academia-industry-led, High-Tech Skill Development Centre in Chandigarh has been established to augment Government of India’s initiative for “Skill India” and increase employability opportunities for students in the country. Equipped with next-generation technologies, like single-molecule biomarker detection, the centre will help accelerate healthcare research and train Indian students and researchers in latest life science technologies.

Dr Shekhar C. Mande, Director General CSIR & Secretary DSIR, who inaugurated the centre, emphasized that this collaboration resonates with the government of India’s mission of Skill India and would be a new benchmark for up scaling employability skills for graduates and post graduates who are aspiring to make a career in the life science sector. Speaking at the occasion, Dr Mande said “India is a country today with 65 percent of its youth in the working age group (15-59 years) and more than 54 percent of its total population below 25 years of age. If ever there is a way to reap this demographic advantage, it has to be through skill development of the youth and I am happy that CSIR-IMTECH and Merck have a role to play in building Skill India.”

The centre established in IMTECH and spread across 1500 sq.ft would focus on research, development and training in the areas of drug discovery, affordable healthcare, diagnostics, cancer and agriculture biotechnology. The curriculum shall enable users to get real-time analysis of samples as part of workshop and training modules and shall be useful for the graduates aspiring to work in pharma, biotech, food and fermentation industries.

Merck, a leading science and technology multinational company, has joined hands with IMTECH to establish this unique centre in order to strengthen the industry-academia ties. This would also help to develop a high-quality skilled workforce relevant to current and emerging employment market needs and will help support drive R&D and manufacturing activities in India.

“With the rapidly growing biopharmaceutical industry in India and demand for therapies, researchers who collaborate with us will benefit from our expertise to enhance their scientific competency and develop advanced technologies to accelerate development and production of new therapies,” said Sunil Punjabi, Country Speaker and Head of Research Solutions, Life Science, India. “They will gain hands-on experience and enhance their skills in areas such as cancer research and novel drug development, conducting real-time analysis on their samples as part of workshops here.”

Equipped with instruments like SMCx Pro Platform for detection of biomolecules at single molecule level and Luminex 200 system which provides detection of biomarkers in a very high throughput manner are some of the high-end equipment installed by Merck that are going to be part of the centre.

Expanding on the contours of the inauguration of the centre, acting director of IMTECH, Dr. Manoj Raje, said that collaboration with companies like Merck will bring a paradigm shift in the way knowledge alliances like these are created in public-private partnership mode.

CSIR Institute of Microbial Technology is a national centre for excellence in microbial sciences established in 1984. IMTECH’s vision is to discover and develop translational products and new drugs to address key unmet medical and societal needs.