A diary from Ireland and Italy: Mr. Vittalkumar A. Dhage on cleantech business and research synergies


In October 2014, I had the wonderful opportunity to showcase opportunities in the Indian cleantech sector to Irish business and research communities that are considering internationalising their innovations and services. During this trip, I also had the chance to meet enthusiastic Irish businesses interested in opportunities in India, and draw attention to specific cleantech project opportunities.

Business and Investment Opportunities in India

10th October 2014, Dublin

The first leg of my journey began in Dublin. True to the enterprising Irish spirit, Ireland India Business Association (IIBA) and Dublin Chamber of Commerce (DCC) in association with The Green Way, Dublin’s Cleantech Cluster jointly organised an interactive event on ‘Business and Investment Opportunities in India’ with a focus on cleantech.

Mr. Sumit Mullick (IIBA Chairman) and Mrs. Radhika Lal Lokesh (the Ambassador of India to Ireland) made a special presentation on the 'Make in India' campaign - the brainchild of India’s current Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. Make in India is a bold step that encourages opportunities to attract investment and boost manufacturing in India. During this occasion, the Ambassador released 'India Ireland in Focus' - the  October edition of the latest IIBA magazine, together with Sumit Mullick, IIBA Chairman.

I was very convinced of the Irish interest in India’s cleantech sector with the volley of curious questions on variety of topics such as -current solar tariffs in India, subsidy offered, Irish company references and EBTC services. Hats off to Nilakanthi Ford (Vice Chair, IIBA) and the wonderful team of DCC who strived to put together this compact business session, well attended by 40 Irish businesses.

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(L to R) Philippe Adriaenssens, Advisor International Affairs, Eurochambres; Julian Seymour, Head of Business Development, The Green Way; Sumit Mullick, Chairman, IIBA; Radhika Lal Lokesh, Ambassador of India to Ireland; Nilakanthi Ford, Vice Chair, IIBA; Vittalkumar A. Dhage, Energy Sector Specialist, EBTC

Discover Energy and Cleantech Business Opportunities

13th October 2014, Cork

As part of Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), an information seminar to ‘Discover Energy and Cleantech Business Opportunities’ was organised by Cork Chamber of Commerce (CCC) where I addressed an enthusiastic audience of 20 businesses.

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Vittalkumar A. Dhage, Energy sector specialist, EBTC addressing Cork Chamber of Commerce members during ‘Discover Energy and Cleantech Business Opportunities’ seminar.

To bring a local business perspective to the seminar, Don Buckley, Senior Project Manager with PM Group, an Irish group of companies outlined the PM Group’s success story in the Indian biotechnology sector. Don was the Operations Manager in PM Group’s India office during its start-up phase and he persuaded Irish companies with the opportunities and the scale that India offers during their initial set up, a unique and positive experience to new Irish company.

After the event, we met with two Irish companies that are interested in discovering the growing Indian clean tech sector. It was a wonderful match making opportunity for EBTC to fuse such European interest with that of Indian opportunities.

Cork Chamber documented the feedback. The overall feedback from the Irish businesses who attended was very good (100% either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the event).

A visit to CHSR@POLITO

Politecnico di Torino in collaboration with IIT Centre for Human Space Robotics

In early 2014, EBTC-Politecnico di Torino jointly collaborated in authoring Techview on emerging photovoltaics (e-PV), an EBTC technology overview report, that examines new PV technologies and their global market maturity; scans already existing research and industrial examples in Europe and India, and explores new collaborative opportunities in the Indian context.

While in Turin, I visited EBTC technology partner Politecnico di Torino and their CHSR@POLITO centre to witness their research on emerging breeds of Dye sensitised Solar Cells (DSC) based on organic dyes and capable of producing electricity in diffused and low intensity sunlight and most importantly the DSCs are environmentally benign and flexible. Prof. Elena Tresso (DISAT Dept. – Chilab Materials and Microsystems Laboratory, Politecnico di Torino) introduced me to Dr. Stefano Bianco (Post Doc.Junior, Centre for Space Human Robotics, Istituto Italiano de Tecnologia (IIT@polito)), who explained and provided additional details on the cutting edge research that the CHSR@POLITO conducting at this laboratory.

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L-R: A small laboratory DSC prototype from IIT-Italian Institute of Technology, CHSR@POLITOA DSC module with 5 cells in series from the Center for Hybrid and Organic Solar Energy, CHOSE, Italy; Building Integrated Photo-voltaic (BIPV) from Schott Iberica

The mission of the CSHR is to study, design and demonstration of the new generation of materials, processes and components for space human robotics. The Center is actively developing technologies for portable energy sources to be used in space human robotics, portable electronics and automotive applications. The research is organized in three main directions:

  • Innovative systems for energy production (development of flexible, all-solid third generation photovoltaic devices; design and development of innovative systems for the harvesting of mechanical energy);
  • Investigation of innovative materials for fuel cells and hydrogen production and
  • Innovative systems for energy storage (application of polymeric materials, solid electrolytes and nanostructured electrodes in flexible batteries).

An attempt is also made for applying new electrolytes and nanostructured contacts in flexible batteries for energy storage-all of which are of immense interest amongst research community in India. Hence the Collaborative Research and Development Opportunity (CRDO) matrix in EBTCs Techview on emerging photovoltaics (e-PV) precisely maps such research clusters in Europe with that of India, paving the way for future joint research and development collaborations.

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Vittalkumar A. Dhage, Energy Sector Specialist, EBTC; Dr. Stefano Bianco, Post Doc.Junior, Centre for Space Human Robotics, Istituto Italiano de Tecnologia (IIT@polito)

I was delighted to have hand held such an EU innovation and had the opportunity to discuss at length with Prof. Elena Tresso, DISAT Dept.at Politecnico and Dr. Stefano Bianco, CHSR@POLITO, regarding the adoptions to boost research and development collaborations amongst EU and India community. I was accompanied by 1Sun, an Italian start-up interested in collaborating with Indian partners and currently exploring an early stage investment to its patent filed revolutionary hybrid composite nanomaterials for PV applications. Together with Politecnico di Torino, we agreed to cooperate and explore further to work on developing and handholding the emerging PV research collaborations between EU and India.

Contact Mr. Vittalkumar A. Dhage (Energy Sector Specialist, EBTC) – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





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