IIT Madras CoE working with DRDO on Combat Vehicle Tech

It is conducting directed research in advanced technologies for defence and security with the objective of creating a World-Class Research Centre.

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IIT Madras

Pic: courtesy IIT Madras.

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) is operating a Research Centre dedicated to defence technologies jointly with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to develop advanced technologies for national defence and security needs of the nation.

While initially established by DRDO, this centre has now been taken over by IIT Madras and converted into a ‘Centre of Excellence,’ an interdisciplinary research group that brings in faculty and researchers from multiple departments to undertake translational research.

Called ‘DRDO Industry Academia- Ramanujan Centre of Excellence’ (DIA-RCoE), this centre has been established to conduct directed research in advanced technologies for defence and security and to create a world-class research centre developing cutting-edge technologies. It will also make a major contribution towards ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ in the defence sector.

Highlighting the outcomes envisaged from DRDO Industry Academia- Ramanujan CoE, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, said, “It is an important milestone in bringing together the Academia, Industry and DRDO to collaborate and develop Atmanirbhar technologies for critical needs of our country.  Specifically, this will provide a first-of-its-kind opportunity for Start-ups and MSMEs to participate in this critical Nation Building activity.”

Established based on the ‘Long Term Directed Research Policy’ of the Defence Ministry, Government of India, this Centre will undertake multidisciplinary directed basic and applied research in the following research verticals:

Ø  Electronics and Computational Systems,

Ø  Naval Systems and Naval Technologies

Ø  Advanced Combat Vehicle Technologies

Ø  High Power CW Laser sources

Ø  Next-generation communication and networking technologies

Highlighting the broad objectives of this Centre, Prof. Manu Santhanam, Dean (Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research), IIT Madras, said, “IIT Madras will develop core competencies in research areas identified with DRDO to support future DRDO programs. This will help in skill development and generating scientific and technological trained manpower including DRDO in the crucial technological areas.”

Further, Prof. Manu Santhanam added, “The centre will also collaborate with academic researchers and faculty at IIT Madras and other institutes in the country to facilitate and achieve progress in advanced technology research in areas identified with DRDO. The DIA-RCoE will emerge as a centre of excellence by conducting directed research in advanced technologies for defence and security, and will endeavour to become a world leader in areas of R&D.

Dr. O.R. Nandagopan was recently appointed as the Director of the DRDO Industry Academia- Ramanujan CoE. He has 35 years of experience in naval technologies and systems at the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory and Naval Science and Technological Laboratory Laboratories of DRDO. He also served as Director of NSTL Visakhapatnam for five years.

Elaborating on the outcomes envisaged from this Research Centre, Dr. O.R. Nandagopan, Director of the DRDO Industry Academia- Ramanujan Centre of Excellence’ (DIA-RCoE), said, “DRDO is attaching high priority for the development of futuristic technologies and systems for defence through academia and industry. This centre will identify the strength of faculty members and industry partners and develop cutting edge technologies and systems for our armed forces”. 

The DIA-RCoE will facilitate focused basic and applied research by utilizing the knowledge base of professors and researchers at IIT Madras and also engage other academic institutions and technology centres in the country. DRDO scientists with requisite research and technology expertise will be associated along with the academic faculties/ researchers to achieve progress in intended scientific investigations and the development of advanced technologies.


Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) was established in 1959 by the Government of India as an ‘Institute of National Importance.’ The activities of the Institute in various fields of Science and Technology are carried out in 16 academic departments and several advanced interdisciplinary research academic centres. The Institute offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes leading to B.Tech., M.Sc., M.B.A., M.Tech., M.S., and Ph.D., degrees in a variety of specialisations. IITM is a residential institute with more than 600 faculty and 9,500 students. Students from 18 countries are enrolled here. IITM fosters an active entrepreneurial culture with strong curricular support and through the IITM Incubation Cell.

Recognized as an Institution of Eminence (IoE) in 2019, IITM has been ranked No.1 in the ‘Overall’ Category for the fourth consecutive year in India Ranking 2022 released by National Institutional Ranking Framework, Ministry of Education, Govt. of India. The Institute has also been ranked No.1 in the ‘Engineering Institutions’ category in the same Rankings for seven consecutive years – from 2016 to 2022. It was also adjudged as the ‘Top innovative Institution’ in the country in Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) in 2019, 2020 and 2021. ARIIA Ranking was launched by the Innovation Cell of Ministry of Education.