Research conversazione 2016: Inspire-Research-Innovate

A collaborative research conference named “Research conversazione 2016“ on the theme Inspire-Research-Innovate was organised, Research and Development Dr. MGR Educational and Research Institute partnered with Virginia Tech, India centre as along with Virginia Tech, USA for Advanced Research and Education on 11th of March 2016.

The Inauguration

Welcome Address by Dr.Thirunavukkarasu, Dean Doctoral Studies

Dr.Thirunavukkarasu welcomed the delegates from Virginia Tech, USA and Virginia Tech, India centre as along with the dignitaries from our University and guest from other institutes.  This was an opportune time to renew contacts and discuss opinions of mutual interest with delegates from member countries of the Region. It was gratifying to note that the agenda of the Research conversazione covers a wide range of very interesting items relating to research development and especially to those directly related to aspects of research Inspire-Research-Innovate. No matter how much we can do by ourselves on the national level, whether it be research or development, it is never enough. In a spirit of true cooperation, we in this region of the world, proud of nurturing interdisciplinary cultures, and together we must join in an action-oriented effort to endeavour need based research. In conclusion he wished all every success in deliberations and a very pleasant stay in Chennai specially to the delegates from USA.

Set the tone by Dr.RamaVaidyanathan

Director R&D – Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam Centre of Excellence for Innovation and Entrepreneurship


Strong sustained investment in research is essential to strengthen and let fly the excellence, creativity and impact of the world leading researchers in innovators and businesses. By doing this we will be able to address the challenges facing our society today and create the opportunities for excellent research growth in the future. Going forward willshape a world-leading research base and strength across disciplines, accelerate innovation and foster collaboration and co-invest with other partners in the research, drive new multidisciplinary research programmes and work together to maximise impact and further drive efficiency. The collective ambition of the Research Councils is to maintain and further enhance the leading position as the best place in the world to do research, innovate and grow towards the creation of a strong economy and societal benefit now and in the future.


Presidential address by Dr.Gopalakrishnan

Rector, Dr.M.G.R Educational and Research Institute, University    


The Rector invoked that the guide to good practice in the development of research capability is a series of statements about effective ways of appointing and developing a competent and productive research workforce in universities. The statements are to be expressed as actions that can be taken by executive leaders of research development, such as other senior staff with whom they work to develop research. These include Deans, Associate Deans, Heads of School, research group Directors and the like. Team Science is characterized by large multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary collaborative research projects comprised of large teams of scientists, that often integrate research with broader goals including education, technology transfer, outreach and diversity enhancement. Research Development is an activity that as University we embraced to enhance the efforts of their faculty and foster the development of collaborative, team-based science as well as compete for large research center and consortia funding opportunities. Research Development professionals serve as "rainmakers" who catalyze and facilitate team science in response to the external funding landscape.

Panel discussion on “Fostering Research in the University environment- way forward”

Moderator:        Dr.RamaVaidyanathan,

Panel Members: Dr.MaliniPande -Dean SPD

  Dr.L. Ramesh – Additional Dean E&T

  Prof. Subasree – Deputy Dean, I year – Physics Department

  Dr.Ramalingam- Head of the Department, MBA

It was discussed that - We will be known as an innovation University and recognised as a powerful engine for growth and for tackling the scientific, economic and policy challenges of the future; attracting inward investment, driving prosperity, health and sustainable growth. Transforming our innovation and enterprise culture and activities will see the University acting as a magnet for participants (staff, students, and partner organisations) and for funding, while simultaneously reinforcing our civic responsibility. This platform for research, innovation, translational and educational activity will span educational system. Our University already has recognition as a successful, research-intensive University; the challenge is to enhance that position on an increasingly competitive international stage. The Research, Innovation and Enterprise strategy sets out how we will deliver against our ambitions, to ensure that we are best positioned to contribute to the skills, jobs and economic growth agendas.

Intersections for Creativity and Black Swans

Prof. Roop Mahajan, ED       

Institute for critical technologies and Applied Sciences Virginia Tech. USA

What does it mean to be Creative? New or different viewpoints on a subject

§ Breaking down and restructuring our knowledge about the subject in order to gain new insights into its nature

§ Create new things –Invent or innovate.

It is important to examine the various creative processes researcher use to create, explore the impulses and reasons behind choices, attempt to determine where “inspiration’’ comes from, and discuss the ethical questions ?? can face. New education paradigms fostering creative risk-taking, and re-discovery are needed as to seek innovative individuals to stimulate economic growth. Arts-Science-Technology based curriculum breaks traditional boundaries, allowing students to challenge established ideas and resist stereotyped world-views. Effective education, including multidisciplinary  integration, encourages active, problem-based inquiry, data collection, evaluation, and communication. Unlike didactic instruction, such process imitates research requiring student-generated discovery learning, often producing multiple solutions and questions beyond the original assignment. The paradigms uniquely engage learners, requiring multi-sensory involvement providing multiple perspectives on discipline- specific and world problems. Such paradigms are consistent with the Roadmap for Education.


Innovative Cycle of Engineering Education and Research

Prof. Vinod Lohani, Virginia Tech, USA.


Firstly the discussion was on the experiences of implementing curriculum innovations, informed by an education theory, in to various engineering programs at Virginia Tech. The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech began a TabletPC/Dyknow initiative to develop a student-centered learning environment in engineering instruction. The speaker shared his experiences of implementing these technologies into engineering classes. In the second part the speaker discussed the ongoing research at his lab in the context of the innovation cycle of engineering education and research. The unique real-time, web-accessible monitoring system that has been developed to enhance water sustainability education and research at Virginia Tech supported by several grants from the U.S.


Arm Chair Conversation – Visioning Research for the University

An interview with Prof. R.M.Vasagam

Chancellor, Dr.M.G.R. Educational and Research Institute

Interviewer: Dr.Hepsibah Sharmil

Welcome to "Visioning Future Excellence." An arm chair conversation served as a guide to a series of interaction that bring together a diverse cross-section of the university and external community. The purpose of the interview was to hear why faculty, staff, and students come to University, why they stay, and what challenges they foresee that will need to be addressed to ensure continued excellence and research relevance. To more fully refine the challenges and opportunities, the Chancellor initiated Visioning Future Excellence. Visioning Future Excellence at University reflected the campus culture of inclusiveness and collegiality as we attempt to capture challenges the world will face in the next 20-50 years and what role our pre-eminent institution will play in addressing them. Visioning Future Excellence has been both collaborative and comprehensive. It has included input from nearly 1500 individuals, including faculty, academic professionals, civil service staff, graduate students, undergraduate students, alumni, community members, and corporate leaders. Some of the emerging ideas cut across the topical areas, while others are more focused. Some of the actions already have been initiated as the Visioning Future Excellence outcomes became clear during the process, while others will be initiated in the coming months. As the next step in the process, the Chancellor suggested appoint a Realizing Future Excellence Council to review progress at regular intervals, with the goal that the Council will issue regular reports to ensure that the campus makes steady progress. This Council may be combined with a group that will monitor the implementation of the campus strategic plan that is due this summer. The recommended actions are categorized into two groups. The first set of actions is centered on continuous improvement of the existing environment of the institution. The second set is centered on breaking new ground through new investments, helping to shape the future for success. .

Research Translation and Transfer of Technology

Professor Dr.M.K. Padmanaban, Director

Virginia Tech India Centre for Advanced Research and Education 



In today’s global world, generating new knowledge and turning it into new products and services is crucial to maintain and enhance the competitiveness. Even more so, it is a precondition for sustaining the “Way of Life”. Research Translation and appropriate Transfer of Technology will positively impact on our lives in very different ways: through improved medicines, more efficient and sustainable energy resources, and with new technological solutions to protect our environment or to guarantee the security of the citizens. Transforming the results of scientific research into new commercial products is, however, a complex process involving a broad range of actors. We need to ensure that researchers and industry work closely together and maximise the social and economic benefits of new ideas. The research partnership for growth and profession highlights the importance of exploiting research results and makes it clear that simply increasing public investment in research is not all it takes – we need to create a framework which facilitates this process. More than ever, we need to pool efforts and remove the barriers that hinder collaboration between researchers and industry; we need to ensure that operates as a ‘single market for knowledge’; and we need to develop platforms where the scientific community and industry can work and innovate together. This communication calls for our researchers to recognise the advantages of working more closely with business and vice-versa, for research assessments to consider innovation as well as academic excellence, for business to increase its investment in R&D, and for public administrations to make the mobility of researchers between these sectors easier. The accompanying Guidelines offer operational direction to research avenues and exploitation of the intellectual property they generate, especially in the context of collaboration with industry. Making sure that research is a source of innovation and that it improves the competitiveness in global markets is a shared challenge. We all have to make an effort to bring it about, but we all stand to gain in the end.

Thank You Note

Dr.Sreevidya, Senior Research Scientist, gave the Vote of Thanks and appreciated all the participants, guest and the members of the Virginia Tech. USA for making this event a grant success with good interaction for further growth and development.

-Dr. Hepsibah Sharmil, Social Research Scientist