|BHEL CMD B Prasada Rao
Aimed at exploring potential collaborative...
areas for new technology and product development, the Maharatna PSU recently organised an industry-academia meet at its corporate research and development (R&D) division at Hyderabad.
Academicians from IITs at Kanpur, Delhi, Mumbai, Kharagpur, Roorkee, Guwahati, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Patna, Jodhpur, Bhubhaneswar and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) took part in the meet and outlined their respective areas of strength, possible synergy, nature of on-going research activities and relevance to BHEL.
B Prasada Rao, CMD, BHEL underscored the need that R&D projects should align with market needs. BHEL offers around 180 products and there is a need to dovetail R&D activity with marketing efforts. He also mentioned that the country should have protection from cheap imports of inefficient finished goods and we must be able to produce technologically advanced and economically viable products.
Rao further said that in the initial years, BHEL's focus was on absorbing technologies as the company has always remained focused on satisfying customers' needs. Assimilation of technology has been very good and this has made it possible for BHEL to mark its presence in 76 countries worldwide. Today, BHEL is among one of the few global companies having the capability to manufacture the entire range/type of power equipment. However as the market opened up in the last few decades, the access to technology has reduced. There is a need to develop technologies required for the needs of the country at economical costs. BHEL, therefore, needs to enhance its development focus by ramping up R&D activities and increase R&D efforts in a big way.
Spelling out the R&D activities of BHEL, Rao said that corporate R&D takes care of basic research and that there are many areas where R&D activities need to be scaled up. BHEL is filing one paten/copyright per day and IITs with their resources can further help BHEL.
For the last two decades, BHEL has been working with IITs for filling technology gaps by taking part in IIT Research Parks to ramp up R&D activity. The company has dedicated product development groups in all its units for all the products. Application oriented research takes place at the unit level. A number of Centres of Excellence for various technology areas have been set up to strengthen R&D. Guided by the possible research areas of collaboration and remaining focused on the emerging market needs, the R&D efforts will be further scaled up in identified areas by BHEL.