Women lead team that wins Indian technology award

We are pleased to highlight this recent Indian technology award to a team of largely women professionals. Congratulations to Dr Leela Edwin, Dr Nikita Gopal and Dr Meenakumari and their colleagues!

CIFT Press Release, July 2014

Shri Ananth Kumar, Hon'ble Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers, Govt. of India, presenting the  Award to Dr. Leela Edwin, Team Leader and other team members (from left Dr. Ajith Peter, Dr. Nikita Gopal, Dr. B. Meenakumari & Dr. Saly N Thomas). Shri Nihal Chand, MoS, looks on. Photo: CIFT

Shri Ananth Kumar, Hon’ble Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers, Govt. of India, presenting the Award to Dr. Leela Edwin, Team Leader and other team members (from left Dr. Ajith Peter, Dr. Nikita Gopal, Dr. B. Meenakumari & Dr. Saly N Thomas). Shri Nihal Chand, MoS, looks on. Photo: CIFT

A team of researchers from the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT), Kochi, received the 4th National Awards for Technology Innovation in Petrochemicals & Downstream Plastics Processing Industry (Runner Up) in the field of Polymer Science and Technology from Hon’ble Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Govt. of India, Shri. Ananth Kumar. Also present was Shri. Nihal Chand, MoS, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, Govt. of India. The award was presented on July 17, 2014 at a function held at Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi. The award instituted by the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India, was presented to the team for their work on “Upgradation of Treated Rubberwood Using FRP Sheathing for Fishing Boat Construction”. Dr. Leela Edwin, Principal Scientist and Head of Fishing Technology Division is the team leader. Others in the team are Dr. P Muhamed Ashraf, Dr. Nikita Gopal, Dr. M Ajith Peter, Dr. A Sreeja, Dr. Saly N Thomas and Dr. B Meenakumari.

A fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) rubberwood canoe. Source: CIFT

A fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) rubberwood canoe. Source: CIFT

To learn more about the invention, read more here, and read the economic assessment.

“Technology Evaluation Model for Rural Innovations – Case Study of Rubberwood Fishing Craft for the Small-scale Fisheries Sector” by Nikita Gopal, Leela Edwin in Fishery Technology, Vol 50, No 4 (2013).

E-mail: Nikita Gopal Nikita.Gopal@gmail.com

Abstract: The use of rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis) for fishing craft construction is an innovation introduced by the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT), Cochin, Kerala, India. Technology evaluation is an integral part of any technology development to place the technology in its proper perspective. This paper presents a simple model of evaluating the technology by describing the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PME) cycle and assessing impact through patent profiling, cost evaluation and looking at the social benefits. It has been observed that introduction of the technology has made available an alternative timber to the traditional boat building industry. Reduction in cost of construction to the tune of 28% and overall reduction of 35-40% in maintenance costs has been possible. FRP sheathed rubberwood fishing crafts are maintenance free. A patent profiling of the technology revealed that for use of rubberwood in traditional fisheries for canoe construction, there are no patents except for the ones filed by CIFT. Social benefits include availability of a cheap fishing craft for fishing operations which is the sole livelihood option of the traditional fishermen.

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