Coir Board signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, to establish a “Centre of Excellence (CoE) for the application of Coir exclusively or in combination with other natural fibres”. It may be recalled here that at the instance of Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of MSME, the IIT-Madras had earlier validated the research studies so far undertaken by the Coir Board and other agencies in India on Coir Geo-Textiles (CGT) and recommended that CGT can be successfully used to prevent soil erosion in slopes/embankments, river embankments, mine slope dumps stabilization etc. The Institute has also recommended the use of CGT in the low volume rural roads as a re-enforcement material.
The Centre of Excellence (CoE) aims at furthering the research work so far done in the coir sector with the support of IIT Madras team of experts. It will also support the development of relevant technology and evolve standards for production and processing through specific projects and monitor research projects and mentor of Coir Board’s research institutes/laboratories. The Centre of Excellence will also assist in generating the Intellectual Property Rights and technology transfer.
Coir Board will provide a financial assistance of Rs.5 crores initially for a period of two years for the establishment and running of Centre of Excellence.
27 areas of R&D needs of the Coir industry have been identified, to be taken up by this Centre of Excellence, in addition to 10 in-house projects of IITM, in machinery development and road projects.