How are universities helping the nation in the fight against the pandemic?

These ongoing unprecedented times have bought forth never seen before challenges for the whole world. 

Almost every part of this world has been put under a lockdown of one type or the other so as to enable the world and scientists globally to buy time to make considerable headways in the process of developing a drug or a vaccine. 

For now, national lockdown and social distancing are the only methods known to curb the spread of the virus and slow down its virulence. 

Though lockdown is essential, how do we ensure the continuity of essential industry sectors?

And university research forms one of the most important aspects of the essential industrial sector for it promises potential innovations that could help us again this battle with this unknown enemy. 

We have already seen examples of the above that how universities or even startups have taken the onus of contributing to this battle by stepping up their R&D and innovating continuously. 

As a result of which, a few notable institutes and universities have actually come up with innovations that can help us in our fight. 

Kerala based institute Shri Chitra Institute of Medical Sciences (SCTIMST) falling under the Department of Science and Technology leads the way for it has developed multiple innovations that could help in curbing and containing the pandemic. 

For the starters, it has come up with a walk through the human disinfection tunnel. 

One can walk through this tunnel, disinfect oneself within a matter of seconds and come out sanitized. All this is completely automatic. 

The walk-in tunnel works by spraying Hydrogen Peroxide on a person automatically as soon as one enters the tunnel. The spray is in effect for as long as the person traverses to the end of the chamber. This time is enough to sanitize the clothes and hands of the person. 

After a person exits the chamber, the sensors sense the exit, and the whole of the chamber is then exposed and illuminated by UV light for disinfection. 

This is a notable innovation that can very come in handy at hospitals treating patients, public spaces, etc. 

This is followed by another innovation by the same institute. The institute has also developed a UV light bin that can be used to disinfect masks, PPEs, and other protective equipment before they are discarded. Because as it is said that handling used protective equipment is as important or rather more important in curbing the spread. 

These innovations can definitely go a long way in helping us in our fight against this pandemic. 

However, the cheap test developed by SCTIMST that could turn the cost of COVID19 test down manifolds is being marked as a major innovation by the institute. 

If all goes well, this innovation will definitely help in rapid testing and screening that could go a long way in helping the Nation curb the pandemic. 

And it’s not just SCTIMST alone, other institutes of national importance like IIT Delhi have also developed a clinical test that could accelerate the screening processes. 

Hence the data points indicate that university research can enable innovations that could be our armor amid this time of the pandemic. 

Therefore we can’t let the university research and R&D within universities slow down in the time when it is needed the most. 

But how do we ensure the continuity of university research which is a team effort in the era of social distancing? 

Additionally, another important and crucial factor is access to the prior knowledge base which is vital and acts as a pilot in R&D studies and a catalyst in the overall innovation process. 

How do we ensure that?

For our research teams to put their effort towards correct direction, timely access to prior knowledge is a must and so is the availability of a collaborative platform that could help research teams mitigate the challenges that arise due to remote working. 

And this is possible only by adopting advanced technology and solutions available. 

The present research infrastructure needs a paradigm shift and needs to incorporate emerging tech to address new working ethics and needs. 

In our bid to seek an answer to some of the above key challenges and make the world aware that how can universities adopt aggressive digital transformation and adapt to the same, we bring to you a webinar which will talk about:

    • Importance of R&D in university research during COVID19?
    • Why is it important to ensure continuity in the sector?
    • What emerging technologies can be incorporated in the research infra to make it compatible to the changing needs and scenarios?

Check out the Webinar:

University Research and IP Ecosystem During COVID-19

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