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The conversion of research findings into practical products, such as fabric from pineapple leaves, nutrient-rich food from banana peels, wound-healing patches from coconut fibre, and innovative speaking gloves for mute individuals, underscores the remarkable potential within academic and research pursuits.
Mahatma Gandhi University (MGU), Kottayam, has proudly presented a diverse array of such accomplishments at its exhibit during an event organised by the Kerala Higher Education Department at University College Thiruvananthapuram, as part of the Keraleeyam programme. This exhibition provides visitors with a glimpse into how research can be harnessed to create solutions that benefit both society and the researchers, especially in our pursuit of a knowledge-based economy.
The Business Innovation and Incubation Centre (BIIC) of MGU has successfully completed 24 research programmes within its Research Incubation Programme, supported by substantial funding of one crore rupees from the Kerala Startup Mission. Ten startups have already been launched, building on research findings, and the registration process for six additional startups is currently underway. Furthermore, eight research findings are poised for transfer to various industries, with patent applications already submitted for six research outcomes.
Visitors to the exhibit can follow the entire product development journey, from the extraction of thread from pineapple leaves to the final product, such as a shirt. This impressive innovation is credited to Seiko Joseph, who earned recognition through the National Innovation Challenge by the Kerala State Startup Mission in 2022.
Among the noteworthy contributions is Synflora, a pioneering nanotechnology-based solution designed to extend the shelf life of fresh flowers—a first of its kind in the Indian market. Additionally, an AI-supported drowsiness-detection system enhances road safety by alerting drivers to potential fatigue.
Dr. Santhosh Thampi, the Keraleeyam Coordinator of MGU, and Dr. Radhakrishnan E.K., Director of BIIC, both emphasised the university’s commitment to inspiring the younger generation. Their mission is to convey that a world of boundless opportunities awaits those who harbour a passion for research and wish to explore the horizons of education beyond conventional employment.