TECHgium 2018: Bridging the Industry-Academia Schism

Author photo: Sharada Prahladrao
BySharada Prahladrao
Industry Trends

The industry-academia schism is perhaps the most discussed topic across boardrooms and colleges. Every year, engineering graduates join the job market, but employers find that they don’t possess the required skillsets and despite book learning they are not “industry ready.” Addressing this concern, LTTS, a leading global pure-play engineering R&D Services company hosted the second edition of TECHgium in Bangalore, India.  This is a unique initiative to share end user challenges and pain points with students and ask them to come up with innovative solutions. The aim is to provide engineering students with relevant exposure to the challenges and practical insights for Industrie 4.0. TECHgium will create an ecosystem that bridges the industry-academia divide by providing the participants with an opportunity to work on technologies of tomorrow, enhance their career prospects, and simultaneously augment LTTS’ solution development team.  All emerge as winners: students, employers, and - ultimately - industry as a whole. 

TECHgium received a record-breaking participation from over 17,000 students across 220 engineering colleges, out of which 1,088 innovative ideas and 53 Proof of Concepts (PoC) were shortlisted and the final eight PoCs presented to the jury. This gave aspiring engineering students an opportunity to create concepts, submit abstracts, make technical presentations and showcase real-life technical challenges. Some of the challenges included developing a machine learning (ML) platform for video analytics for elevators, augmented/assisted reality applications for industrial customers, a video analytics tool for detecting human intentions, and reducing emissions from automobiles. LTTS invested over 100 working hours to mentor students shortlisted for the PoC round, with subject matter experts from respective industry domains mentoring the students. As a result, the winning teams came up with remarkable solutions around IoT, machine learning, advanced image processing and smart tools. A distinguished jury of industry experts selected the TECHgium winners. These included K.S. Viswanathan, Vice President NASSCOM; Dr. Ranganath Navalgund, Honorary Professor, ISRO; and G. Ganapathiraman, Country Manager, ARC Advisory Group, India.


Voice of the Jury

Across the whole spectrum of the industry, skill profiles are undergoing rapid changes.  This creates rising demand for people with enhanced digital capabilities. India has an enormous pool of fresh talent propelled by innovative thinking and a positive attitude to build solutions in key sectors where technology can play a revolutionary role. LTTS hopes that TECHgium will play an instrumental role in mentoring academic talent in India, and propel innovation in bringing technological empowerment to solve complex industrial problems.

TECHgium 2018 Prize Winners

First Prize: Ramakrishna Engineering College, Coimbatore for developing a mechanism for wide angle viewing for diagnostic hysteroscopy products

Second Prize: National Institute of Engineering, Mysore for creating a variable valve timing mechanism for internal combustion engine

Third prize: Sri Manakula Vinayagar Engineering College, Pondicherry for their work on smart tools and integration with IoT platforms

Special Prize: Awarded to the students of Zakir Hussain College of Engineering and Technology, Aligarh for devising a Multi-camera Multi Target Visual Tracking System


Some of the other noteworthy PoCs demonstrated at TECHgium include active noise cancellation for automobile mufflers submitted by the students of IIT Madras that caters to the transportation & commercial vehicles domain, and an artificial intelligence framework for microgrids for industrial products submitted by the students of VIT University. 


Dr. Keshab Panda, CEO & Managing Director, LTTS said that from a modest beginning of $40 million in 2010, the company reached $600 million in 2017. And this growth story can continue through initiatives such as TECHgium that provide the right stimulus to the enormous academic potential of the country.  India has always been a nation of innovators and pioneers and the kind of engineering talent that can be brought to light here is unparalleled. TECHgium would be immensely helpful in LTTS’ endeavor to propel innovation, bridge the industry-academia gap as well as solve myriad engineering challenges and help in building digital skillsets among today’s youth.

TECHgium 2018 is Bridging the Industry-Academia Schism


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