In a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership, CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology(IMTECH) today in collaboration with Merck inaugurated the High-Tech Skill Development Centre in the area of life sciences. This academia-industry-led, High-TechSkill Development Centre in Chandigarh has been established to augment government of India’s initiative for “Skill India” and increase employability opportunities for students in the country. Equipped with next-generation technologies, like single-molecule biomarker detection, the centre will help accelerate healthcare research and train Indian students and researchers in latest life science technologies.
Dr. Shekhar C. Mande, Director General CSIR & Secretary DSIR, who inaugurated the centre,emphasized that this collaboration resonates with the government of India's mission of Skill India and would be a new benchmark for up scaling employability skills for graduates and post graduates who are aspiring to make a career in the life science sector. Speaking at the occasion, Dr Mande said “India is a country today with 65 percent of its youth in the working age group (15-59 years) and more than 54 percent of its total population below 25 years of age. If ever there is a way to reap this demographic advantage, it has to be through skill development of the youth and I am happy that CSIR-IMTECH and Merck have a role to play in building Skill India.”
The centre established in IMTECH and spread across 1500 sq.ft would focus on research, development and training in the areas of drug discovery, affordable healthcare, diagnostics, cancer and agriculture biotechnology. The curriculum shall enable users to get real time analysis of samples as part of workshop and training modules and shall be useful for the graduates aspiring to work in pharma, biotech, food and fermentation industries.
Merck, a leading science and technology multinational company, has joined hands with IMTECH to establish this unique centre in orderto strengthen the industry academia ties. This would also help to develop a high-quality skilled workforce relevant to current and emerging employment market needs and will help support drive R&D and manufacturing activities in India.
Equipped with instruments like SMCx Pro Platformfor detection of biomolecules at single molecule level and Luminex 200 system which provides detection of biomarkers in a very high throughput manner are some of the high-end equipment installed by Merck that are going to be part of the centre.
Acting director of IMTECH, Dr. Manoj Raje, said that collaboration with companies like Merck will bring a paradigm shift in the way knowledge alliances like these are created in public-private partnership mode.