IIT Madras to house ‘Shell IITM Centre for Energy Research’ with focus on innovation

Business MInutes

Indian Institute of Technology Madras’ (IIT Madras) Energy Consortium and Shell India have partnered to launch the ‘Shell IITM Centre for Energy Research’ (SICER). The inauguration ceremony, which took place at the Shell Technology Centre in Bengaluru today (22nd May 2024), marks a significant milestone in collaborative research and strategic engagement between academia and industry.

The collaboration will be centralized under SICER for five years and will promote innovation, research, development, piloting, and commercialization of technologies in the energy sector.

The key outcomes envisaged include research collaborations in critical challenges and opportunities in the energy transition space, incubation of energy start-ups by leveraging the start-up ecosystem of IIT Madras and the Shell Chair Professorship which will act as a bridge and enable knowledge exchange between Shell and IIT Madras, along with the continuation of Shell’s participation in the Energy Consortium.

Highlighting the unique aspects of this partnership, Dr. Ajay Mehta, VP Engineering Technology, Shell, said, “We are proud to expand our partnership with IIT Madras with the launch of the Shell IITM Centre for Energy Research (SICER), demonstrating our commitment to promoting open innovation, research, and technology development across the wide spectrum of the energy transition. We have had several successful bilateral research and development (R&D) projects with IIT Madras in the past. This collaboration will further enable us to share our knowledge and resources with IITM while leveraging their expertise, R&D facilities, and innovation ecosystem to address one of the world’s most critical challenges – the energy transition.”

As part of the initiative, Dr. Satyanarayanan Seshadri was announced as the first-ever Shell Chair Professor at IIT Madras. He is the Head of the Energy Consortium at IIT Madras and a faculty member in the Department of Applied Mechanics and Biomedical Engineering at IIT Madras. He brings with him a wealth of expertise. His leadership will prove crucial in guiding research activities at the new centre and fostering collaboration between academia and industry.

Speaking about this collaboration, Dr. Satyanarayanan Seshadri, Shell Chair Professor, IIT Madras, said, “As the Shell Chair Professor, I am honoured to lead the research efforts at SICER. Our mission is to unlock the full potential of our partnership by leveraging our shared interests in areas such as R&D and startup incubation, while also actively seeking out new opportunities for collaboration.”

Further, Dr. Nikhil Tambe, CEO, the Energy Consortium-IIT Madras, said, “We are excited to announce the launch of the SICER, as well as the appointment of Dr. Seshadri as our inaugural Shell Chair Professor. This event represents a significant step forward and will galvanize our collaborative efforts in strategic areas of advanced energy research and innovation in close collaboration with Shell.”

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