India, 9th October 2023: BITS Pilani, a renowned institution known for its commitment to innovation inaugurated specialised “Rakesh Kapoor Innovation Centre” focused on entrepreneurship. The inaugural event took place on 8th October 2023 at BITS Pilani Campus.
The Rakesh Kapoor Incubation Centre is envisaged as an integral facility for innovation and entrepreneurship at the Pilani Campus. The Centre will be the home to the business incubator, Pilani Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Society (PIEDS), which was set up with the grant of Department of Science and Technology (DST). The centre will also possess multiple specialized labs in the area such as Internet-of-Things, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Fin-Tech Labs. It will also have space for administrative offices for professionals and faculty members involved in incubation activities. The centre is designed by renowned architect Hafeez Contractor, in a picturesque facility with an area of 40,000 sq. ft.
The Centre was inaugurated by Chief Guest, Rakesh Kapoor, Former Global CEO of Reckitt Plc. in the presence of Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao, Vice Chancellor, BITS Pilani and Prof. Sudhirkumar Barai, Director, Pilani Campus.
Rakesh Kapoor, who studied at BITS Pilani from (Batch 1980), gave BITS Pilani a donation of $1.2 million (about Rs. 10 crore) for the creation of state-of-the-art Centre of Innovation, making it the greatest gift the university has ever received at that time.
While addressing during the event, Rakesh Kapoor emphasized on “Innovation is the lifeblood and engine of economic and societal progress. I am confident that this world class Innovation centre will foster the talent of young engineers and scientists to create innovative products, solutions and services that benefit our planet and our people. The depth and rigour of a BITS education combined with the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that pervades campus life, I truly believe the possibilities for the coming generations are limitless. Nothing will give me more pleasure than the centre helping create a culture, especially of innovation and entrepreneurship, which actually results not just in innovation by itself, but results in things that we can do to benefit society, to benefit people around the world. I am absolutely honoured that BITS chose me and put my name on this wonderful initiative.”
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao, Vice Chancellor, BITS Pilani said, “As we launch this Innovation Centre at BITS, we begin a new era in entrepreneurship and innovation. This facility exemplifies our commitment to fostering collaboration, curiosity, and innovation. Here, the brightest minds will unite to transform concepts into solutions and aspirations into reality”.
He further emphasized “At BITS, we believe that solutions to complex problems come from innovation, and these are strengthened through a community, space, funding, and patents. Usually, the PhD programs in the country are all geared to producing university professors, but we are changing the paradigm of what these programs need to be, by shifting the focus to innovation. This kind deed of Mr. Rakesh Kapoor will undoubtedly have a long-lasting impact because it aligns with one of the main institutional priorities and enhances the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that BITS has long supported”.
During the event various donors were felicitated for their valuable contribution towards the institute. Some of them include entrepreneurs such as Anuradha & Prashanth Palakurthi , Anurag Jain & Ross Perot Jr. Abhinav Asthana and Abhijit Kane, Chaitanya Kalipatnapu, Mukesh Sharma, Kiran Bhat, Aparna & Raghu Sethuraman, Rakesh Verma, along with the batch of 1989, 1993, and 1994.