With most of the SSLS projects nearing 3 year term and entering into a concluding phase, a workshop was scheduled on April 22-23, 2017 at IIT Kharagpur. Besides stock-taking of SSLS projects, the aim was to plan for next edition of SSLS. In future, the current individual to individual researcher level collaboration between S & T expert and medical domain expert is seen graduating to institutional level collaboration. IIT Kharagpur already has an MoU with ICMR through which a MedTech internship is successfully run. The institute is now looking for more institutional level joint activities of this kind and beyond.
In the inaugural session of the workshop, Director, Deputy Director and Dean (SRIC), IIT Kharagpur outlined the road map of medical science & technology domain R & D of IIT Kharagpur and the likely role of SSLS team there. This was followed by four technical sessions that centered around four themes: (i)Cancer detection and management, (ii)Diagnostic aids, (iii)Brain research and (iv)Biomaterial and intervention. The areas were in line with the collaborative research activities undertaken by the SSLS team. In each session, one single threaded presentation of all the projects was made by the SSLS team and there were discussions on it. There were two separate poster sessions for more detailed discussion on individual projects. Each session also had one or more leading medical domain expert representing their institutes, deliberating on opportunities lying in that area and the synergy possible through institute level collaboration. The keynote speech in the concluding session of the workshop by DG, ICMR who is also Secretary, DHR made the SSLS team aim higher and be careful about pitfalls, specially at the technology translation level.
Other than SSLS research faculty / scholars and ICMR team, the workshop had presence of Head / representative / team from Directorate of Medical Education, Govt. of West Bengal; NIMHANS, Bangalore; SCTIMST, Trivandrum; AIIMS, New Delhi; AIIMS, Bhubaneswar; NBRC, Manesar; Tata Medical Centre, Kolkata; NRS Medical College, Kolkata; Calcutta Medical College, Kolkata; CMRI, Kolkata; GNIDSR, Kolkata among others. The upcoming Dr. B. C. Roy Institute of Medical Science & Research at IIT Kharagpur which is to house a 750 bedded hospital and a medical college (video, news), opens an exciting era of opportunity where for the first time in the country technology and medical fraternity are to share campus in an IIT. The workshop in a way contributed to the development of ownership among participating institutions in this IIT Kharagpur initiative and forging partnership. Shared below is a visual walk-through of this workshop.