"India tends to simplify things and produce innovations that are cost-effective. Creating a strong innovation culture requires us to communicate and work together closely. A fruitful relationship between two countries can be built only on collaborations. And I think that all of you are representative of one way in which we can collaborate better together - through education". This was the message conveyed by the Governor General of Canada, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, in his address at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, when he visited the Institute Campus on February 28, 2014. The Canadian Governor General shared his views on "Driving Economic growth through Innovation", on the occasion.
Answering a query on "What makes a great leader?", He said that A leader is a one who allows every member of his team, who may or may not have been chosen by him, opportunities to reach their potential. The Governor General freely interacted with the students and faculty members of the Institute and answered their several queries ranging from encouraging entrepreneurship in academic institutions to the importance of formal education and collaborating with Canadian Institutions for students exchange. The Governor General was accompanied by a high-level delegation from Canada that included Mr. Bal Gosal Minister of State (Sport) , Mr. Parm Gill, Member of Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Mr. Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights, and Mr. Peter Sutherland, President and CEO, Canada-India Business Council, among others, besides Mr. Stewart Beck, High Commissioner of Canada to India. Earlier, in the day while welcoming the Governor General, Prof. Devang Khakhar, Director, IIT Bombay informed, "IIT Bombay has collaborations with several Canadian institutions and this year itself since January, we have been visited by the representatives of four such Canadian institutions." Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Chairman, Board of Governors, IIT Bombay felicitated the Governor General after his talk. The Governor General visited the Industrial Design Centre of IIT Bombay and saw some of the design products made by the students and faculty members of the Centre. He was happy to see some of the innovations in design like Cooking gas stove for the blinds, solar cooker which can be used as a microwave, and projects like affordable housing for rural & semi-urban areas and so on. During his visit to the Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Incubation Centre of IIT Bombay, he interacted with the head of SINE, Prof. Milind Atrey as well as the representatives of two of the Companies incubated at SINE, Nanosniff and igrenEnergi. NanoSniff specializes in bridging the gap between cutting edge research in nanotechnology and sustainable device manufacturing through agile microfabrication process scale-up, increasing device yield and reliability, reducing manufacturing costs and making devices commercially viable and market ready. Nanosniff's platform technologies can cater to a wide variety of business verticals and application areas, such as sensors for detection of industrial hazards/ explosives and point-of-care medical diagnostic devices. igrenEnergi's products are built using proprietary innovations in electronics, embedded software, and cloud based applications software, and their goal is to improve energy efficiency and reduce cost of electronics required to generate, store, and use energy. The first product of the company, a DC optimizer/mini-inverter is undergoing trials for solar power installations. The same technology can be used for more efficient energy-management in electric vehicles as well. Another group of Canadian delegates, lead by the High Commissioner, Mr. Stewart Beck, visited Aakash Lab and witnessed some of the newer areas of application of the much-acclaimed Aakash Tablet.