Srinagar: To encourage scientists and students for cutting edge research and commercialisation of their ideas and innovations, Bangalore-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) conducted a workshop at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Kashmir.Attended by the university scientists, scholars, students and faculty, the workshop was organised under the World Bank-ICAR funded National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) for the institutional development of SKUAST-K. The SKUAST-K and C-CAMP collaboration came with a vision to encourage the commercialisation of scientific ideas and innovations by providing seed funding, mentoring, incubation facilities and technological support for creation of agri-based startups and enterprises.Vice-Chancellor, SKUAST-K, Prof JP Sharma, who was the chief guest at the occasion, flagged the issues and constraints faced by the farmers. He said the small landholdings and high cost of inputs and energy as well as scarcity of jobs in organised sector, have made it imperative to shift traditional agricultural practices towards agriculture businesses and entrepreneurship to enhance farmers income and livelihood security. He enjoined upon the faculty to turn their ideas into business to realise the broader goal of national development through innovations. He advised the teachers to change the curriculum to include vocational and skill education as a part of formal education and take investment benefits from Atma Nirbhar Bharat and National Education Policy 2020 for creating infrastructure for vocational education.The vice-chancellor congratulated Director Planning and PI NAHEP, Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai, for the excellent work carried under the project which has brought laurels to the university being adjudged among the top three universities in the country on the basis of performance monitoring indicators. Programme Manager C-CAMP, Dr Jameel A Khan, talked in detail about the facilities and expertise available at the C-CAMP for life sciences based research and innovation projects including early stage, Bridge and acceleration funding having potential for agriculture, health environment businesses. Dr Nazir A Ganai, Director Planning and PI of IDP-NAHEP spoke about the outcomes and output achieved in the project and explained how the ideas and innovations by the faculty and students have been capitalised on the NAHEP platform to be utilised for entrepreneurship. Dr Sarfaraz Wani, Director Research gave a detailed account about the entrepreneurship pursuits in agriculture and how it has shaped the careers of many entrepreneurs. Dr Khalid Masood presented his innovations on prostate cancer treatment through the drug discovery from local medicinal plants and the plant gel useful for testing.Dr Zahoor Baba, Associate Professor, presented his innovation on biofertilizers and vermicomposting which have great business potential for organic farming and green agriculture. Dr Mudasir Andrabi, associate professor, animal biotechnology talked about his innovation and treatment for a chronic and acute mastitis disease in cattle which inflicts heavy losses and colossal damage to livestock.Dr Farooq Zaki, consultant HRM, congratulated VC for his book written on innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture which will be of immense use for the budding startups in agriculture and allied sectors. He thanked all the participants for their valuable inputs to foster the agenda of innovation and entrepreneurship in the university. Dr Naveed Hameed conducted the proceedings of the workshop.
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