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Anna University: Walk in with ideas & exit with prototype | Chennai News


CHENNAI: From first year students to research scholars, any student can walk into the new Makers Lab at Anna University with their ideas and walk out with a 3D-printed product. The aim is to nurture innovative ideas from students and help them translate it into prototypes or products.
The lab will also conduct upskilling programmes to train students. Students can train themselves in digital fabrication, 3D printing and IoT platforms among others. It would be like a pre-incubation centre for students. “Anna University should have gotten this lab long ago. With this lab, students will get exposure on how to develop an idea into a product at an early stage,” said vice-chancellor M K Surappa. “They will spend their time in college usefully, engaged in creative thinking and designing. It will bring a new culture in the university campus to leverage the talent to bring on new innovations.”
The lab is equipped with a 3D printer, laser cutting machine, DC electronic load, mixed signal oscilloscope, power tools, air compressors, simulation tools, embedded and IoT systems, high end GPU computer lab and drones. The lab also has working tables for students and a library. “The university is equipped with incubation centres to develop the mature ideas or commercialising prototypes of the students, faculty members and alumni. But, we never had a common place to build prototypes,” said professor R Saravanan, director, centre for entrepreneurship development, Anna University.
With the help of Entrepreneurship Development and Innovation Institute, students will also get aid of Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh, depending on the requirement for manufacturing the prototypes. “This lab will be open to students of the four campuses of Anna University. Our goal is to train 500 students in a year and roll out at least 20 startups per year,” Saravanan added.
“The lab will have flexible timing… and will follow industry-level safety norms,” said K M Sangeetha Maini, startup manager at centre for entrepreneurship development. CDE is also planning on opening internships for UG and PG students for Rs 10,000 a month. To create awareness among the students, competitions including hackathon, pitchfest will be held.

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