Role of Academia in Enabling Chemical Industry Achieve Newer Heights

Date: July 16, 2021 | 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM IST


The Indian chemical industry is projected to be worth US $304 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 9.3%. This will require an investment of US $75-100 billion as the target is to reduce import dependency and increase exports. 

The reasons for this growth are multifold. First, increased demand for chemical products in the domestic market. Second, the growth of chemical products in the exports market. Third, the closure of polluting chemical companies in China to address new environmental regulations and fourth, global corporations are derisking their China portfolio by planning new investments in countries like India. 

To achieve this magical number, India needs to revamp its Research & Development effort through a collaborative model of government and private owned educational institutions working in tandem with industries and industry associations to come up with new molecules and chemistries which solves present day requirements and is also cost effective. The academia will also provide quality manpower to meet the future requirements of the industry. 

The academia needs to focus on new technologies like Electric Vehicle, Biofuel, Hydrogen and others from the perspective of sustainability and renewable based products. Not only this, focus should also be on new technologies and digitization/digitalization so that students are abreast with all these to meet the future requirements of the chemical industry.      


Key Discussion Points: 

- How to remove disconnect between Academia and Industry?

- Business Models for Academia-Industry linkages 

- Leveraging low budget through Academia-Industry collaboration

- Partnering for new and innovative technologies  

- Increasing R&D budget step-wise which is win-win for both academia and industry

- Making academia and research institutions industry friendly   

- Any policy changes to enhance collaboration?

- Increased focus of government on funding new technologies


Dr. R K Khandal President - R&D India Glycols Ltd

Prof. Dr. R. K. Khandal is the President - R&D and Business Development, India Glycols Ltd., a renowned and one of its kind company in the world manufacturing surfactants from sugarcane molasses. He was also former Vice Chancellor of Uttar Pradesh Technical University, Lucknow from 2012-2015 and transformed it into an innovation university. 

He was also unanimously elected President of WAITRO (World Association of Industrial & Tech. Organizations), a UN body for two terms in 2010-2012 and 2012-2014. From 2001 to 2012, as the Director, Shriram Institute, he developed and established a self-sustainability model for the institute. 

He has been an expert member of High level Committees of Government of India for different Ministries - Ministry of Science and Technology; Ministry of Child and Women Welfare; and Ministry of Food Processing Industries. He has been part of Recruitment and Appraisal committees of CSIR, DRDO etc.

Dr. Jhillu Singh Yadav Provost, Director and Trustee Indrashil University

Dr. Jhillu Singh Yadav, Provost, Director and Trustee, Indrashil University (former CSIR Bhatnagar Fellow & Director, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT), Hyderabad carried out extensive basic and applied research investigations in organic chemistry for the synthesis of over 190 complex natural products of biological relevance. Dr. Yadav specializes in the state-of-the art Asymmetric Synthesis to create new Chiral centers.

Prof. G. D. Yadav Emeritus Professor of Eminence Institute of Chemical Technology Mumbai

Professor Ganapati D. Yadav is one of the topmost, highly prolific and accomplished engineering-scientists in India. He is internationally recognized by many prestigious and rare awards as an academician, researcher and innovator, including his seminal contributions to education, research and innovation in Green Chemistry and Engineering, Catalysis, Chemical Engineering, Energy Engineering, Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, and Development of Clean and Green Technologies.

Prof. Gautam Radhakrishna Desiraju Professor- Solid State and Structural Chemistry Unit Indian Institute of Science Bangalore

Gautam R. Desiraju is a structural chemist who has been in the Solid State and Structural Chemistry Unit of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India since 2009. Prior to this, he had been in the University of Hyderabad for 30 years. He has played a major role in the development and growth of the subject of crystal engineering. He is noted for gaining acceptance for the theme of weak hydrogen bonding among chemists and crystallographers.

Prof. Vajja Sambasiva Rao Vice Chancellor SRM University AP

Prof Vajja Sambasiva Rao is an eminent academician who has been the vanguard of leading excellence in higher technical education in India. An alumnus of BITS, Pilani and the University of Bielefeld, Germany, Prof V. S. Rao previously served as the President of NIIT University and Acting Vice-Chancellor and Director at BITS, Pilani.

His research interest included synthetic organic chemistry, natural product research, green chemistry etc. He has guided four PhD students and published several research papers in reputed journals. His passion for teaching has earned accolades from several batches of BITS students.

Ashok Panjwani President UPL University of Sustainable Technology

Ashok Panjwani is a Chemical Engineer. He has completed graduation from the Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), Mumbai in the year 1972. He has over 49 years of rich industrial experience working with with reputed Chemical / Agro Chemical companies like Gharda Chemicals Ltd. and Gujarat Insecticides Ltd. Presently he is serving UPL Ltd. as Executive Director.

He is also working President in UPL University of Sustainable Technology, 

Bijal Mathkar R&I Director Solvay Research and Innovation Center India

Bijal Mathkar is a chemical engineer with 16 years of experience in Process Engineering and Research & Innovation, with leading specialty chemicals MNC as well as EPC firm.

Currently, site Director for Solvay's Research & Innovation center at Vadodara, India, she is responsible for R&I programs in field of specialty chemicals and material sciences as well as general site management.

Dr. S. Chandrasekhar Director CSIR-IICT