Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal said we must encourage startups and young scientists in the niche areas like Technical Textiles. He said this during a review meeting of Textile Research Associations (TRA) on 3rd November 2022 in New Delhi.
Shri Piyush Goyal asked Textile Research Associations (TRA)to submit proposals to the Ministry for any support they require to reach world-class levelsofrobust state-of-the-art labs, and modern machinery, amongst others. The Minister added that the Bureau of Indian Standards could provide necessary support in modernizing the labs of TRAs.
In consonance with the vision to foster innovation and drive science-centric sustainable growth, Shri Piyush Goyal suggested to create a special fund to increase the number of scientists in TRAs.
Minister pointed out the need to assess the projects till their last-mile success and added that the projects may be sanctioned accordingly to make them commercially viable. He noted that for medical textiles the research is incomplete without clinical trials. Therefore, costs associated with clinical trials may also be taken into account while recommending future projects in Technical Textiles.
He directed the officials to Fastrack the clearance of patents filed by Government related bodies, in a time-bound manner.
Shri Goyal asked to explore the possibilities of merging TRAs or fostering partnerships among TRAs engaged in similar kinds of research in order to bring synergy among these bodies. He also instructed that the quarterly engagement of TRAs with the Ministry be institutionalized.
The review meeting under the Chairmanship of Union Minister Shri Piyush Goyal was attended by Dr. VK Saraswat, Member (Science and Technology), NITI Aayog, Prof. Ajay K. Sood, Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India and representative of 8 TRAs (affiliated bodies under the Ministry of Textile), namely, Ahmedabad Textile Industry’s Research Association (ATIRA) Ahmedabad, The Bombay Textile Research Association (BTRA) Mumbai, Man-Made Textiles Research Association (MANTRA) Surat, Northern India Textile Research Association (NITRA) Ghaziabad, Synthetic & Art Silk Mills Research Association (SASMIRA) Mumbai, South India Textile Research Association (SITRA) Coimbatore, Wool Research Association (WRA), Thane, and Indian Jute Industries Research Association (IJIRA) Kolkata.
Dr. V K Saraswat, Member (Science and Technology), NITI Aayog, said that TRAs need to work on taking their research at commercially viable level and bring the final product to the market. He highlighted that the focus is required on reducing the imports of important products and increase their indigenous production.
Prof Ajay K. Sood, Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India, highlighted the importance of having incubation centers in TRAs.He emphasized on the need to research on HEPA Filters, which has a huge potential in the future. He also asked TRAs to identify the products which are mainly imported and urged them to direct their research activities to these products in order to achieve self-sustainability.
During the review meeting, presentations were made by the TRAs, highlighting their performance over the last decade which including their research projects, patents status, machinery and equipment statistics, and strategies for the future.