Women Scientist & Entrepreneurs Conclave at the Indian International Science Festival (IISF) inaugurated by the Hon’ble Union Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan highlighted the increasing role of women in science based start-ups and entrepreneurship programmes.
Delivering the Conclave address he said that a large number of Innovation schemes of the ministry were being operated by DST and DBT and that, initiatives taken by BIRAC have today created a vibrant innovation ecosystem. “More than 1000 Start ups and nearly 200 Women Entrepreneurs have been supported. The Atal Innovation Mission also aims to promote the innovation ecosystem,” he pointed out.
“Globally there has been a special focus on addressing the issues related to Women in Science and framing policies, which support this. In India we have laid special emphasis on empowerment of women. Our Hon’ble Prime Minister has stressed upon the need for special programmes, which not only technically empower the women but also create employment opportunities,” Dr Harsh Vardhan added.
The Conclave, a unique programme of IISF 2017, organized to promote science and entrepreneurship among the young women brought together around 350 scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs from across the country – North East, Uttarakhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Punjab, Kerala, amongst others.
It was organized as part of the IISF 2017 by Ministry of Science & Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences along with Vijnana Bharati. The conclave was coordinated by Dr. Renu Swarup Sr. Advisor, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Dr. G. Latha Sr. Scientist, National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Dr. Suraksha S. Diwan, DBT and Dr. Asheesh / Dr. Shiny, Vijnana Bharati.
Also Inaugurating the BIRAC Women Bio-Incubator at the Golden Jubilee Women Biotech Park, Chennai in the presence of Prof. M S Swaminathan, Founder Chairman, Women Biotech Park & Hon’ble State Minister of Industry, Government of Tamilnadu – Shri M C Sampath, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that it was good example of a Centre and State Government Partnership and will drive many important initiatives under Start up India and Make in India.
The conclave: Motivating women researchers
The aim of the programme was to motivate young women to pursue science / entrepreneurship and explore new vistas of opportunities. The Conclave provided a platform for engaging, connecting and networking among young women scientists and entrepreneurs to hold discussions and find solutions to some of the common challenges and problems being faced in their field of activities.
Inaugurated by Dr. Sowmya Swaminathan, DG, ICMR, it showcased the strength and achievements of women in science and entrepreneurship. The participants are drawn from science, technology, engineering and allied disciplines and entrepreneurs. The focus of the Conclave was on the following thematic topics – 1) Women in cutting edge Science & Technology 2) Challenges for taking Science as a Career & Opportunities for Scientists and Entrepreneurs 3) “Budding Women Scientists to share their “The excitement of Science” 4) Initiatives of Government of India for Women in science and science for women and Journey of the Women Entrepreneurs – where leading and successful Women Entrepreneurs in India share their Journey on Entrepreneurship.
Prof. K. VijayRaghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology delivered special address. Welcome address was delivered by Dr. Renu Swarup, Senior Adviser, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology and Dr. G. Latha, Scientist ‘F’, NIOT gave the Vote of thanks.
The conclave had lead speakers in various fields from different organizations who are role models for the younger generation of women.
Each session stood out with their unique features & contributions to promote women in science research, science leadership & decision making
Session 1: Women in cutting edge Science & Technology
This Session had lead talks followed by sharing of experiences by renowned Women Scientists and Technocrats in India. The session included discussion / interactions where participants discussed and interacted with the experts.
Session 2: Panel Discussion: Game Changers Driving Science for New India
This Session was a panel discussion, focusing on challenges for taking science as a career & opportunities for women in Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship.
Leading Women Scientists and Entrepreneurs took part in this session to discuss the challenges, opportunities and options for taking science as a career for the young women.
Session 3: “Budding Women Scientists” – The Excitement of Science.
The most exciting session of this conclave was this session, where young scientists from various renowned Research Institutes, scientific organizations shared their experience, their exciting journey through science as a career, the challenges they faced and how they overcome all the hurdles and succeeded in their career.
Session 4: Initiatives of Government of India for women in science and science for women
Details of various schemes of Department of Science & Technology, Department of Biotechnology and CSIR for promoting women scientists and entrepreneurs were presented by nodal officers from the respective Departments of the Ministry of Science & Technology.
Session 5: Journey of the Women Entrepreneurs
This last technical session of the conclave on 16th October, 2017 focused on the talks by the successful Women Entrepreneurs. They shared the mantra of success for the young generation that may motivate them to take up entrepreneurship as well as the challenges and opportunities.
6. Poster and Exhibition
An Exhibition and Poster session also formed part of the conclave for researchers/scientists to showcase their work and entrepreneurs to showcase their products/activities through stalls.
The Exhibition was inaugurated by Dr. Sowmya Swaminathan, DG, ICMR, Government of India and Secretary, DBT.