New Delhi, India, Aug 20: The IIT Alumni Industry Interaction Center (AIIC), a pan IIT initiative (across all 16 IITs), today held the inaugural puja for its ‘Hub in the Sky’ facility at the IIT Madras Research Park in the presence of Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director IIT Madras, Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Head, IITM Research Park, Dr R Nagarajan, Dean Alumni and International Affairs along with faculty, invitees and other alumni who graced the occasion to support the Industry Interaction Centre initiative Mr. Suresh Kalpathi (Kalpathi Investments), President IIT AIIC thanked the governing council that includes Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Mr. Arjun Malhotra, Mr. M.S.Ananth, Prof Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan and Dr R Nagarajan amongst others for their guidance and support. As a step closer to achieving the PM’s 7 point focus Charter for IITs, a part of its vision to project India as a brand worldwide, AIIC, at the function, declared collaboration of the academia with apex corporate houses and business institutions on Financial Technology (FinTech) innovations. This comes as a part of a series of Industry Round Tables (IRT) through which the IRT for Automotives was successfully launched early this year. At a press meet held later during the day, Mr. Kalpathi said, “With giants like Cognizant, TCS, Saint Gobain, L&T, Sundaram Finance, JK Fenner and Carborundum Universal Limited as our institutional members providing industrial expertise to technological innovations from the IIT eco system, AIIC will facilitate mutually beneficial dialogue between academia and industry”. Welcoming the AIIC to its new premises, Prof. R Nagarajan, Dean, International & Alumni Relations, IIT Madras said, “IITs and their alumni share one common characteristic– innovation in all their endeavours. The AIIC is another example of that– a path-breaking effort to integrate academia/ alumni/ industry interaction into traditionally social setting. I’m sure the success of this initiative at IIT Madras Research Park will spur similar Centres at other IITs as well”. The Indian landscape is primed for entrepreneurs using technology to promote financial inclusion. With IITs being a hub of innovations and the Research Park having the facility of an incubation cell, AIIC will bring closer the industry requirements to novel ideas and solutions. The ‘Hub in the Sky’ facility is the first in a series of similar ventures planned across metros to foster discussions on technology, business and social networking amongst alumni & faculty of all IITs. At this second facility, AIIC aims to take the vision of Alumni Center to a new level with world class facilities that will include a Member’s lounge, Fine dining, Banquet halls, Meeting rooms, Library, Business center, AV Room and Executive rooms. Over and above the vision of Alumni Center, the objective of “HUB IN THE SKY” will be to supplement and complement the vision of IITMRP. It will provide world class ambience for meaningful and fruitful discussions and interaction between industry, academia, research scientists, policy makers, legal/finance/technical specialists and investment managers thus enabling value creation for a greater good through networking amongst its members. The IITM Research Park, designed by Hafeez Contractor, will eventually add more than 1 million sq. feet of well architected and environment friendly space. AIIC corporate member Dr. E.S.Sivashankar, Director – KKK-JAPAN & Director – CKIPL, Chennai said, “Being a member, could develop business contacts with reliability which could be useful mutually. In the long run, we can explore the possibilities of collaboration in areas of common interest between my Japanese company and a reputed institution like IIT. Being a part of the group will also help in exchange of ideas which are mutually beneficially. We also think that with help from IIT, KKK Japan lookout for ways to be of use to the community in Chennai and later for India.” Through this initiative, AIIC will systematically map and group IIT alumni to leverage on their collective experience in different sectors, identify innovation and serve as a platform that inspires path-breaking changes. AIIC Patron Member, Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan, Co-Founder, Infosys congratulated the Center on the success of a pan IIT initiative of such magnitude and said over a video call, “I am glad that IIT Alumni Club is moving to the IIT Madras Research Park. With larger area, the activities of the club can increase and serve the IIT Alumni community better. I hope all IIT Alumni will join and take full advantage of the facilities.” Key Initiatives by AIIC PALS – Pan IIT Alumni Leadership Series, an initiative conceived to add to all-round standards of select engineering colleges and management institutes around Chennai. With this program the AIIC, as a member of the IIT ecosystem, plays an important role in supporting some of the key goals set out by our Prime Minister in his address to the IIT Council in August 2014. 2014 Innovation Contest in association with TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) held to promote breakthrough innovations and bring them in line with the TiE mission of mentoring, educating, incubating and funding. IRT – Industry Round Table is one of the many efforts of the IIT AIIC, to foster and sustain an innovation driven ecosystem by bringing the IITs, Alumni and the Academia together, that could lead to collaborative R&D and commercialization. The first IRT, focussed on the Auto Industry, has been initiated in collaboration with the Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research (IC&SR), IIT Madras. A mechanism for setting up an exclusive R&D Cell to address specific Industry requirements has been initiated. WOW (Women Only Workshops) A monthly series of lecture-workshops that introduce women to the concepts of managing personal finance. In addition to members, these workshops are now attended by women professionals from some of the top corporate organizations in the city. Impressions A series of events and shows covering Art, Music and other cultural pursuits to provide a rich social experience for members. In particular, the Art shows have now become an integral part of the Chennai calendar. BIBLIOTHEK A book reading group at the Club in the City brings together book-loving members, friends and family every month! Open Pairs A monthly bridge tournament that has become the richest event in the Chennai bridge calendar in terms of prize money on offer.