International Conference on Separation & Purification Technologies at IIT Patna Culminates: Highlighting the Industry- Academia Collaboration


Patna: 10 December 2023 :: The two- day International Conference on Separation and Purification Technologies (ICSPT 2023) sponsored by SERB- INDIA and JAYANT AGRO- ORGANICS LTD. ended successfully on December 08, 2023, at the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Patna. The Agro -Startup Meeting was the talk of the town where different start -ups showcased their product and services in the agrotech domain.

Dr Jose V Parambil (conference convener), on behalf of the ICSPT, welcomed the Chief Guest Shri Vishwajeet Singh (Head Operations, CSM, AgChem, Pi Industries), the Patron Dr Anup Kumar Keshri (ADean, R&D, IIT Patna), the Guest of Honour Professor C. Malla Reddy (IIT Hyderabad), Plenary Speaker Dr Jerry Heng (Imperial College, London), Plenary Speaker Dr Ashutosh Singh (University of Guelph, Canada) and a diverse array of specialists, scholars, and industry leaders. The inaugural ceremony was culminated by Dr Lalita Kanwar Shekhawat (conference co-convenor) by expressed gratitude towards the dignitaries for their esteemed presence.

Vishwajeet Singh, an epitome in the agrochemical industry, inspired the grand audiences by delivering his speech that stressed the prevailing gap between lab and industry with his expressed desire for fruitful partnerships between the formers. Dr C.M. Reddy, a luminary in crystal engineering from IIT Hyderabad, set the stage with an illuminating keynote on factors governing bulk- solid form performance. His address resonated deeply, stressing the need for deep academia -industry collaboration- as expressed by Shri Vishwajeet Singh. Dr Jerry Heng, an established and world -renowned biocrystallization scientist, delivered his lecture on protein crystals which are of great application in the health and pharma domain. Later in the segment, Dr Ashutosh Singh delivered his lecture on the application of separation, purification and concentration techniques in the agri-food sector and their integration into the agri-food supply chain. Later, the conference witnessed invited talks from Dr Sanjeev Kumar (IIT Roorkee), Dr Aijaj Dar (University of Kashmir), Dr Somak Chatterjee (BITS Pilani), Dr Sameer V. Dalvi (IIT Gandhinagar), Dr Winny Routray (NIT Rourkela), Dr Pushpa Jha (Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering & Technology, Punjab), and Dr Nakkeeran Ekambaram ( Venkateswara College of Engineering, Tamil Nadu) on diverse topics exhibiting the application of separation and purification technologies across different domains of science and engineering.

The technical sessions over the two- day conference explored cutting-edge methodologies and green initiatives in biochemical, environmental, and food application separation processes. These researches were showcased by the student participants from different renowned institutes of the country such as IIT Madras, IIT Roorkee, IIT Gandhinagar, IIT BHU, IIT Patna, IIT Tirupati, NIT Jamshedpur, NIT Karnataka, NIT Rourkela, NIT Jalandhar, NIT Raipur, NIT Surathkal, and Tezpur University through their oral and poster presentations. The participants exhibited high -octane enthusiasm to show, discuss, and clarify the genesis and effect of their research work to both the technical and general audiences. Devargya Chakraborty from IIT Patna, Mohammad Irfan from IIT Tirupati, and Ms Chahat Jain from IIT Gandhinagar respectively were the winner, 1st runner -up, and 2nd runner- up in the oral presentation. For the poster presentation, Shamiran Baroi from Tezpur University, Assam emerged out to be the winner. The photography competition which sought the artistic skill of researchers across the globe, received enormous applications. In this competition, Mahraj Din Malla from the University of Kashmir & Shristi Shefali Saraugi from NIT Rourkela were the winners in the respective online and offline phases of the competition.

The conference, as per its commitment towards society, also welcomed the delegates of different Bihar-based Startups which are pioneering their services in the Agrotech domain. This was done to bridge the divide between academia and industries. Leaders from their respective domains participated enthusiastically in the meeting to share their learned experiences to benefit each other. Professor Reddy was overwhelmed seeing the talent of Bihar working tirelessly to proliferate the agriculture sector in the state using cutting- edge technologies. Dr Jerry expressed his curiosity in understanding the application of IoTs in the manufacturing of biopolymer- based agrochemicals. He too was impressed with the scale of technology being used in conventional practices such as agriculture. The startups named BHOOMI AI and VISHVAKSENAH HERBS & AROMATIC PVT. LTD. were the buzz of the town where participants and dignitaries halted to learn more about their products & technologies in the agriculture sector. BHOOMI AI has developed AI -based solutions for farmers to help them in identifying pest and disease identification along with other applications. VISHVAKSENAH HERBS & AROMATIC PVT. LTD., on the other hand, has developed herbal-based solutions for seed coating and grain storage aiming to help farmers enhance the shelf life of eatables.

As the main objective of the conference was to develop an interactive platform for the participants to engage with industry leaders, the conference threw a Gala Dinner at the Institute Guest House. The plates in the dinner were served with relishing delicacies of Bihar whereas the minds were drooling over RESEARCH, INDUSTRY, and COLLABORATION!

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