Dr Chandrima Shaha, director, National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi
The New Delhi based National Institute of Immunology (NII) is a life sciences research institution with scientific programmes focused to study the body's defense and related systems. The institute was recently bestowed with ‘Thompson India Innovation Award 2013' for being a leading institute in innovation under pharma, academic and government category.
Q: How do you feel about being recognized? Please tell us about the new developments that have happened at the institute?
What is nice about the award is to get nominated without even applying for it and then receiving it as well. So, it is good to receive this award and get recognized in this manner. NII has been always sensitive to the societal needs. While we do the basic high quality research, we are also trying to leverage innovations. NII's service to society is designed to be reachable through the process of applying ideas and discoveries spawned through basic scientific inquiry, into modalities for the treatment and prevention of diseases. And there are number of technologies that have been used for further development. Our focus is on the foundation as there can be no standing at all without it.
NII is committed to stimulate and foster the innovation capabilities of its scientists through encouragement to create intellectual property. The institute has transferred number of technologies to various pharma industries and a total of 21 granted international patents and 13 granted national patents are owned by NII. Close to 83 applications are pending. The institute collaborates with the biotech industry on interface extending from technology transfer, policy development and joint R&D programmes and has taken initiatives to develop human resources in bioentreprenuership.
Q: What about the focus on product development which is now being talked about as next stage for research institutes in India?