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Celebration of Innovations: Building India for the world

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The 16th edition of the International Knowledge Millennium Conference (IKMC), IKMC2022, titled Sculpting the NEXT: Enabling a Future-ready India, was held in Hyderabad.

IKMC is the flagship conference of IKP Knowledge Park and has been held since 2002. It is held every year on a scientific topic of global relevance in technology. The IKMC 2022 attracted 575+ stakeholders of the Innovation Ecosystem – Innovators (Scientists & Startups), Mentors, Industry partners, Funding agencies and regulatory experts. 

In 1998, IKP Knowledge Park was created as a unique experiment of creating a ‘world-class centre for leading-edge business-driven research’ in a 200-acre Science Park with wet lab research facilities, head-quartered in the Genome Valley, Hyderabad. The International Knowledge Millennium Conference (IKMC) reflects IKP’s culture of celebrating innovation. 

Dr R A Mashelkar, Chairman, New Energy Council of Reliance Industries, presided over the Inaugural Ceremony. Prof. A J te Velthuis from Princeton University, USA and Prof. Uday Desai, Founding Director and Prof. Emeritus, IIT Hyderabad, were the Keynote Speakers focused on ‘Emerging Technologies Shaping the Future’.

IKMC 2022 witnessed a rare recognition; Kwaklei and Khonggunmelei Orchids named a new variant of the orchid flower honouring IKP, “Phalaenopsis IKP Knowledge Park”. K&K Orchids is a biotech company that started in 2013 to produce hybrid orchids with high commercial potential in terms of cut and pot flowers. The startup received the Biotechnology Ignition Grant (BIG) funding from BIRAC. The BIG Program is the most successful Life Sciences Funding program in India that supports and nurtures Innovators’ journey from Idea to PoC level. IKP has been the BIG Partner of BIRAC since the program’s inception and has enabled funding and mentoring support to 176 Innovations.

IKMC2022 consisted of the following themes, 1. Scaling the Biologics: Standing at the crossroads, 2. The One Health approach to sustainability, 3. Digital healthcare for a future-ready India, and 4. The financing structure for wider impacts. 

Plenary lectures set the tone of each session, and the vibrancy was carried forward through three tracks, 1. Unravelling the Next, Panel Discussions where Industry veterans and eminent personalities of the field shared challenges and opportunities for India 2. Priming the Ecosystem, Roundtable discussions that brought stakeholders together to share the learnings from the present challenges and deliberated on how we can better prepare for a future-ready India, and 3. Workshop on Empowering Startups by various domain experts received overwhelming responses from the Startup founders.

The two-day offline event saw 157 distinguished speakers from the Indian Innovation ecosystem and 170 Startup founding team members who made the startup exhibition arena vibrant and a great peer learning platform. The valedictory address by H K Mittal (Chairman, Startup India Seed Fund, Former Head, NSTEDB, DST, GoI) took the audience through interesting anecdotes of the innovation ecosystem journey.

Deepanwita Chattopadhyay, Chairman and CEO of IKP, said, “after going virtual during the pandemic, being able to listen to stellar speakers, network in person, take part in workshops and discuss topics of national importance face-to-face was incredible.” Deepanwita called on IKP to make IKMC 2023, “an event that is bigger and better, where even more learnings, ideas and inspirations are shared, and innovations are celebrated.” 

In the last 22 years of operations, IKP has supported over 1,300 companies, startups and innovator projects by providing infrastructure, mentorship, IP services and seed funding. 

(Valedictory function recognising the winners of the Startup exhibition can be seen here https://youtu.be/B5afFco7Nkc?t=102) 

The entire program can be viewed here (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdrLmbRxA76bOXpXBesqtKKsNz5DGxkZz

Reported by – 

Dr. Viswanadham Duppatla is VP – of Biopharma Innovations & Head – of Life Science Incubation at IKP Knowledge Park, Hyderabad. He has mentored 95 students and scientists to realise their dream of walking the path of entrepreneurship. If you are a student/postdoc/scientist exploring to develop solutions, contact Visu (Dr Viswanadhama) for any assistance or guidance. 

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