Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is going to establish a research cell at the Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad (IIT-H) to meet the future defence technological requirements of the country by undertaking basic and applied research programs.

Envisaged to become a ‘Centre of Excellence’, it is being established as an extension of the DRDO Research and Innovation Centre (RIC), Chennai. An agreement to establish the research cell was signed by director of Directorate of Futuristic Technology Management, DRDO, K.K. Pathak, director-general of Missiles and Strategic Systems, DRDO, M.S.R. Prasad and IIT-H director B.S. Murty through a virtual event recently.

“This MoU is aimed at bringing together DRDO and IIT-H to achieve greater heights in indigenous technology through collaborative research. The research cell will ensure seamless execution of different projects between both organisations as IIT-H has a strong research base in advanced technologies,” said DRDO chairman G. Satheesh Reddy, through a video call.

The cell is to help tap knowledge resources in basic science and technology industries that are interdisciplinary in nature and spread across multiple institutions. The initiative aims to help the country become self-reliant in select defence technologies and by engaging faculty and researchers at academic institutions, technology centres and other renowned institutes through research programmes, said a press release on Monday.

“IIT-Madras shares a special bond with IIT-H from its birth. We are also happy that Prof. Murty, also an institute professor at IIT-M, is leading IIT-H. I am sure that DRDO-IITH research cell will make headway with its breath-taking deliverables under the umbrella of RIC, Chennai, with strong collaboration between DRDO scientists and IIT-H researchers,” said IIT-M director Bhaskar Ramamurthi.

Thanking DRDO for choosing IIT-H, Prof. Murty said: “Research is always a prime focus at our institute. It is indeed a proud moment to get associated with DRDO. This cell will support various research areas not only focusing on fundamental science but also can bring out indigenous technologies and solutions through strong collaboration with DRDO scientists.”

Thrust areas of the research cell are advanced material and processing, sensors for defense applications, hardware and algorithms for artificial intelligence-based applications, technologies for space applications, adaptive optics and image processing, UAV and nano ornithocopter technologies, quantum technologies, etc.

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