MRF Ltd. contributes ₹26.09 crore for innovation park at Madras Christian College

The centre is expected to be operational next year

Tyre maker MRF Limited has contributed ₹26.09 crore to establish an innovation park inside the 183-year-old Madras Christian College (MCC) in Tambaram.

Called the MCC-MRF Innovation Park, the centre will be up and operational in the next year in a proposed built-up area of around 70,000 sq ft. The park seeks to set up collaborative spaces that would facilitate interdisciplinary, multi-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary innovations.

P. Wilson, principal and secretary, Madras Christian College, said a lot of research had gone into the development of the park and teams from the college had visited other institutions like the IIT-Madras Research Park to understand how such centres worked. The principal also pointed out that the college would ensure that trees were retained while constructing this park. “The first floor has been designed to host computer-based infrastructure, including a data analytics lab, a computational science lab, a psychometric lab, a media science lab and an instrumentation lab,” he said.

K.M. Mammen, chairman, MCC Association and Board of Directors, and chairman of MRF Limited, said, “In an age and time where innovation and entrepreneurship development hold the key to India’s future, I am happy that Madras Christian College has effectively formulated this project and sought to implement it.” He added, “I am sure that this innovation park will sow the seed on many new innovations and inventions and nurture generations of entrepreneurs who will impact our nation and the world in the years to come.”

Arun Mammen, vice-chairman, MRF Limited, who is also an alumnus of the college, said, “MCC-MRF Innovation Park is expected to create an academic ambience to nurture new ideas and practices in student learning. It intends to target potential innovators from various streams, and train them on entrepreneurship.”

He noted that it is imperative that department faculty and the board of studies, which would formulate the syllabus, were up to date with modern day needs and constantly enrich the experience inside classrooms.

Tamil Nadu Higher Education Secretary Apoorva said normally, incubation cells were at engineering colleges and lauded that even arts colleges were coming up with such cells. P.W.C. Davidar, former Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu, another alumnus of the college, said the entire education scenario was changing and the MCC-MRF centre is a timely one.

He also suggested the college to reach out to investors to get funding for the ideas born out of this centre. Once operational, the college intends to house four to five teams in this park to begin with.

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