Prof. Ajay Sood launches Bengaluru Science & Technology Cluster

Launched at Bengaluru Tech Summit, the Bengaluru Science and Technology Cluster (BeST) is a collaborative effort of more than 50+ organizations from Bangaluru

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New Delhi: The conceptualization of the Bengaluru Science and Technology Cluster (BeST) is a collaborative effort of more than 50+ organizations from Bangaluru, including major academic institutions, industry partners, start-ups, civil society organizations, and government bodies.
This effort was coordinated by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in partnership with Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP), India’s leading biotech research and innovation hub supported by Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.
A proposal for funding for BeST was submitted with Principal Investigator (PI) Prof. Govindan Rangarajan (Director, IISc) and co-PIs Prof. Ambarish Ghosh (Professor IISc) and Dr. Taslimarif Saiyed (CEO, CCAMP). The funding was recently sanctioned by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India. The BeST cluster was formally launched at the plenary session of the Bengaluru Tech Summit, 2022, by the Honourable PSA, Prof. Ajay Sood, in the presence of Prof. G. Padmanabhan (ex. Director of IISC) and Shri S Gopalakrishnan (Kris), Co-founder, Infosys on 16th November 2022.
During the launch, Prof. Sood emphasized that Bangalore has enormous technological potential and that Karnataka State is among the leaders in science and technology advancements. He anticipates that the Bangalore cluster will succeed and pave the path for future success.
A science and technology cluster is a collaborative ecosystem in a city or a region, in which scientists, engineers, social scientists, and entrepreneurs working in academia, government labs, and industry identify and collaborate to solve some socially relevant problems. Science & Technology (S&T) Clusters are being established as formal umbrella structures for S&T organizations in various cities to work together more effectively while retaining their autonomy. On the recommendation of the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) to build an Atmanirbhar Bharat through S&T, the O/o PSA supports these initiatives.
The Bengaluru Science and Technology Cluster (BeST), the latest in this set of O/o PSA supported clusters, has identified Health & Wellness, Urban Life, and Futuristic Technologies as its core sectors and has set up teams to work on areas of One Health, Digital Health, Precision Agriculture, Urban Transportation, Monsoon & Climate Change, Quantum Technologies, Active Matter & Robotics and Jet Engine.
As Prof Sood explained, the BeST Cluster is envisaged as a platform of active collaboration for the entire R&D ecosystem in Bangalore cutting across disciplines and mandates but retaining their individual autonomy. A Section 8 company is being set up to catalyse this collaboration as an independent body, provide organizational support and raise and manage resources.
Co-Lead Dr Taslimarif Saiyed, at the launch said that “Bangalore is a city of science, innovation and opportunity. The BeST Cluster launch could be a landmark moment for Science and Technology in India and possibly the world. We aim to bring together stakeholders with shared ecosystems, identify and address problems first with locally relevant solutions, but also scale-up nationally and internationally by building global competitiveness. BeST activities will be based on this ground-up pyramid model.”
Co-Lead Prof Ambarish Ghosh said, “Bengaluru Tech Summit is the ideal launch-pad for the BeST Cluster. Impact of the BeST can be defined in many ways. In addition to immediate social and economic impact at a city scale, we must also consider the impact on sustainability and being globally competitive.”
The earlier S&T Clusters in this program have been set up in Pune, Jodhpur, Delhi-NCR, Bhubaneshwar and Hyderabad.