Press Release

‘The Ventilator Project’ book released at IIT Kanpur by Hon’ble Chairperson, BoG, IIT Kanpur and Former ISRO Chairperson, Dr.K. Radhakrishnan

~ Story of how a world-class ventilator wasdesigned and built at IIT Kanpur now a thrilling book ~

March 16, 2021, Kanpur: ‘The Ventilator Project’, a story of how a world-class ventilator was designed and built at IIT Kanpur was today released at a function by Hon’ble Chairperson, BoG, IIT Kanpur and Former ISRO Chairperson, Dr.K. Radhakrishnan. Hon’ble Minister of Education, Government of India, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ sent his wishes and congratulated the IIT Kanpur team and the taskforce on their efforts to the nation and to the author’s on their documentation of the incredible story of Atmanirbhar Bharat. The book is a gripping testament to the sheer will and collaborative efforts of two brilliant Indians who came together to build a world-class ventilator in just 90 days when the COVID pandemic struck India. The duo, Nikhil Kurele and Harshit Rathore had founded Nocca Robotics, an IIT Kanpur incubated company to manufacture autonomous waterless solar panel cleaning robots. When the pandemic struck and patients dying due to a shortage of ventilators, they decided to take action, and in just three months designed, developed and manufactured a scalable world-class ventilator.

Nikhil Kurele and Harshit Rathore had never seen a ventilator, let alone built one. But they did not let this stop them! With restricted movement due to the lockdown, access to healthcare infrastructure was also limited. The global economy was crippling under the burden of the pandemic. The clock was ticking and hundreds of lives were at stake.Despite the odds, the duo met over daily Zoom calls and exchanged WhatsApp texts to overcome the lockdown restrictions and work on the ventilator. Their story is now captured in the thrilling pages of the book ‘The Ventilator Project – How the IIT Kanpur Consortium Built a World-class Product during India’s Covid-19 Lockdown’ by authors Srikant Sastri and Amitabha Bandyopadhyay.

Applauding this unseen case study of an atmanirbhar Bharat, Dr.Koppillil Radhakrishnan, Former Chairman Of ISRO said, “With regards to health security, 80% of medical equipment is imported in India. IIT Kanpur successfully managed to develop a reliable, safe and a good quality indigenous product that helped save lives, equally trusted by both academicians and health practitioners.The Ventilator Project is not only a case-study for entrepreneurs or the start-up eco-system of India but also for our premier educational institutions and the critical role they will have to play in the atmanirbhar movement whilst strengthening our economy.”

The duo collaborated with and called upon 20 industry veterans with unmatched experience from domains of academia, policy-making, medicine, and manufacturing. Driven by their extraordinary zeal and technical brilliance, the two young enterprising and innovative minds worked with these industry veterans to reach their goal of an India designed & developed and India built ventilator comparable to the best in the world.

Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, who penned the foreword for the book, said, “It was a moment of pride for us when, in the middle of a national lockdown, the two young innovators told us that they wanted to develop a complex equipment that is otherwise imported. We knew this was a project that deserved all possible support. We extended all our resources to collaborate and make sure that the ventilator project moved forward without a hitch. The success of the project is a demonstration of the dedication that we show at IIT Kanpur towards the nation that has given us so much. Our alumni, young and old, make us proud in all spheres of life. The Ventilator Project is one such example that puts IIT Kanpur and India on the map of global innovation in both manufacturing and business.”

‘The Ventilator Project – How the IIT Kanpur Consortium Built a World-class Product during India’s Covid-19 Lockdown’by Srikant Sastri & Amitabha Bandyopadhyay is available on e-commerce sites and at all leading bookstores.

About the Authors

Srikant Sastri, Chairman of the I3G Advisory Network, is an IIT Kanpur alumni wearing multiple professional hats. He is a Director at IIT Kanpur’s technology business incubator, Startup Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC); Chairman of the IIM Calcutta Innovation Park; Member, National Expert Advisory Council, Dept of Science & Tech, GoI, and a board member at several other incubators. As an entrepreneurship evangelizer, he created the ChaloStartup web series and is on several government advisory bodies.

Amitabha Bandyopadhyay is a scientist trained at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York and Harvard Medical School, Boston. He established his independent research group in 2006 at the Biological Sciences and Bioengineering Department of IIT Kanpur. In 2012, Amitabha got involved with the institute’s technology business incubator, the Startup Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC). In 2018, he became the first occupant of the Kent Chair for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Professor-in-charge of Innovation and Incubation at IIT Kanpur.

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