Annual Report 1999-2000
Technology Information, Forecasting &
Assessment Council (TIFAC)
The Technology Information, Forecasting and
Assessment Council (TIFAC) is a registered society under Department
of Science & Technology. The main objectives of TIFAC
include generation of Technology Forecasting/Technology Assessment/
Techno Market Survey documents, developing on-line nationally
accessible information system, promotion of technologies and
evolving suitable mechanism for testing of technology and
enabling technology transfer as well as commercialisation.
TIFAC has so far produced more than 200 reports including
the 25 document series on Technology Vision up to 2020 and
16 document series on S&T in different sectors.
Three major Technology Missions are being implemented by TIFAC
in addition to promotion of about 50 Home Grown Technologies.
Technology Forecasting (TF), Technology Assessment (TA) and
Techno Market Survey (TMS) Studies
After covering all the major sectors, which are of relevance
to Indian in the earlier TMS Reports at aggregate levels,
the current series of TMS Reports have a narrower and sharper
focus. The new focus is on specific products, processes, and
their applications and related services.The aim is to target
technology linked business opportunities for products, processes
etc. for which earlier TMS Reports projected very high demand.
In this series, three new studies had been commissioned, namely,
1) " Technology for production of lactic acid, itaconic
acid, gluconic acid, glutamic acid, and L-Lysine from molasses",
2) "Nicotine and it's derivatives from tobacco waste",
and 3) "Bauxite benefaction for removal of iron oxide
" during the year 1998-99 and are being pursued.
Four study reports which were commissioned in 97-98, have
been have been finalised in the areas of :
- Systems Approach for Utilisation of Gypsum-Mineral Resource(TMS-149)
- Solid Waste generation and utilisation in Calcareous Stone
- Geothermal Energy - An alternative source of energy. (TMS-153)
- Traffic Management: Streamlining Technologies.(TMS-154)
Studies under finalisation
Draft reports of five studies commissioned during previous
year have been received. The reports have been examined and
are under finalisation.
- Waste Utilisation from Construction Industry.
- Industrial Pumps and Motor Systems.
Non Conventional Fertilisers and Conditioners
to enhance Agricultural Productivity.
4. Multimodal Transport System for Northeast Region.
5. Technology for production of lactic acid, itaconic acid,
gluconic acid, glutamic acid, and L-Lysine from molasses.
During the year (99-2000) four studies have been commissioned
in the areas of :
- Technologies for agricultural application of glauconite
a potash mineral
- Technologies for utilisation of low grade phosphate as
- Utilization Of slaughterhouse Waste Material for the Preparation
of Animal Feed.
- Recovery of Potassium fertiliser salts from sea bittern.
CD-ROMs of TIFAC Reports
In keeping with the technologies of the information
age, TIFAC has taken up the task of putting its wealth of
more than 200 informative reports (Techno-Market surveys,
TF/ TA, Vision 2020, Industrial Safety, Comprehensive picture
of Science & Technology reports) in an electronic form
and making them available on interactive sector wise CD-ROMs.
The CDs are designed to have good interactive features, user
friendly navigation, fast access to information, a powerful
search mechanism, on line help, flexible switching between
screens and a printing facility for reports. For industries
these TIFAC CDs give competitive technologies and business
opportunities, for R&D Institutions they give the areas
of great demand and for the Strategic Planners they provide
a roadmap. The work has begun for the production of two CDs
viz. Food & Agriculture CD and Health CD initially and
their prototypes have been completed and these two CDs are
undergoing final testing.
Technology Information Services
The TIFACLINE Services has been reviewed in
the context of Data Information Service available on INTERNET
and it has been decided to provide technological services
concentrating on customer services rather than database generation.
Seventy queries has been serviced since April99 to November
To facilitate and foster the flow of scientific
and technical information through the formal channel, TIFAC
Library continued to support the enhanced requirement of scientists
and users. During the period 95 books and reports have been
procured raising the holdings of TIFAC Library to 1648 upto
November 1999. In addition, 56 journals including specialised
serials have been subscribed.
With a view to disseminate information on the
various activities of TIFAC, three issues of newsletter have
been broughtout. The circulation of the newsletter is about
5000 amongst R&D institutions, academic and industrial
- Patent Facilitating Centre (PFC)
The PFC continued its efforts towards meeting
its objectives and the achievements during the period are
Seven issues were brought our till November
30, 1999. These bulletins interalia covered WTOs third
Ministerial Conference, patent laws of Norway, litigation
in patents, different case laws, Indian universities in patent
filings, patenting of display devices and few case studies
based on patents awarded in different areas. A case study
based on US patent granted to an anti-diabetic herbal drug
based on karela, jamun and brinjal was published in the bulletin.
This attracted a lot of media attention and public interest
and resulted in healthy debates at various forums.
Patent Awareness Workshops
Conducted nine (9) IPR/patent workshops during
the period through which more than 900 scientists and technologists
were sensitised. The workshops were held at the following
- Council of Science & Technology, U. P., Lucknow ,
May 3, 99
- ISRO (SAC), Ahmedabad, July 20, 99.
- GB Pant University of Agriculture & Tech., Pantnagar,
July 28, 99
- Assam Science, Tech & Environment Council, Guwahati
Guwahati, Sept 15, 99
- Meghalaya Council for Science, Technology, Environment,
Shillong, Sept. 16, 99
- Regional Engineering College , Kurukshetra, Oct 9, 99
- Thapar Centre for Industrial Research & Development,
Patiala, Nov. 9, 1999.
- Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, November 29, 1999
- A.P.S. University, Rewa, December 4, 1999.
Patenting/IPR Protection Activity
Facilitated filing of 19 patent applications
during the period, to make the total filings to 71 patent
applications, including 20 applications filed abroad and one
Patent Co-operation Treaty (PCT) application. Out of these,
one patent has been granted in Sri Lanka. Six applications
for registering designs of a gas stove developed for the blind
were also filed.
PFC has provided patent search services to a
large number of users from university, R&D institutions,
government departments and private industry ever since the
activity was started in the middle of 1996. The search services
were extended to about 60 universities, research institutions,
industry, etc. Some of these are Saurashtra University (Rajkot),
Jadavapur University, Berhampur University (Berhampur), Maulana
Azad College of Technology (Bhopal), North Eastern Regional
Institute of Science & Technology (Itanagar), Central
Pulp & Paper Institute (Shaharanpur), Kerala Minerals
& Metals Ltd (Kollam), Vam Organics (New Delhi), Bharat
Biotech Services (Hyderabad) and Daurala Organics Ltd (New
Hardware other facilities for patent search
CD-ROM databases for bibliographic/abstract
searches on patents issued by US Patent Office, European patent
Office and the PCT applications were updated. A new system
with advanced features and a scanner were installed for scanning,
Internet searches and patent searches. Internet was extensively
used for conducting searches and obtain information on patents
granted published in other countries, details of the International
Deposit Authorities (IDAs) under the Budapest Treaty, details
from American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) and the likes.
Ekaswa-A and Ekaswa-B databases
The CD-ROMs launched in 1998 has generated a
good amount of response from the industry. Each CD has been
priced nominally at Rs. 500/-. The data is being updated every
quarter. 90 clients, including 60 annual members have subscribed
the CDs. A revenue of 3.31 lakh was generated from the activity
during the period September 98 to November 99.
Special Reports / Publications
The PFC has been bringing special reports and
publications for awareness, for showing how patent information
could be used for technology forecasting and R&D decisions,
licensing of patents etc. Special studies and reports were
generated by the PFC. Last year, the Ministry of Environment
& Forests had awarded a study on "Patenting in Micro-organism"
to PFC and had provided partial funds for the same. The report
was completed and submitted to ME&F and other concerned
departments and ministries in August 99. Extensive studies
and analyses of patent laws in other countries in respect
of micro-organism, some 10,000 patents granted in US and Europe,
& response sent by 23 countries to a structured questionnaire
were made. The report has four volumes namely, executive summary,
Patent Laws & Practices, Deposit Mechanisms & Examination
Standards and Case Studies.
Counseling and advisory role
PFC has become a referral point for industry,
universities, government agencies, NGOs, foreign embassies
and individual scientists, innovators and consultants, for
information and advice on IPR related matters, especially
upto date patent information. In the process, PFC was instrumental
in generating critical inputs including conceptual framework,
actual patent data, analysis, etc., for decision making, policy
formulation and future planning at the national level in the
area of IPR and related matters. Many of the government agencies
namely DAE, ISRO, ICAR, ICMR and BHEL approached PFC for specific
inputs and organised patent awareness workshops with technical
support of the PFC.
Role of a watchdog
A US patent granted to an anti-diabetic herbal
drug based on karela, jamun and brinjal was brought to the
public notice by the PFC. This attracted a lot of media attention
and public interest and resulted in healthy debates at various
forums. A patent accepted by the Indian patent office related
to communication satellite was opposed successfully by the
ISRO. The ISRO identified the application from the data provided
in the IPR bulletin.
Strategy Paper on Non-Ferrous Metals: TIFAC-Indian
Institute of Metals (IIM) Joint project
TIFAC & IIM have to prepare ten techno-commercial
reports on all-important Non-ferrous metals. So far, four
reports (Aluminum, Copper, Magnesium, Titanium) have been
released. The reports on Niobium, Molybdenum, Tungsten, Rare
Earths etc are likely to be completed by March2000.
As a result of initiatives taken by TIFAC earlier
in the field of Surface Engineering, several industries have
taken lead in setting up new projects like development of
Diamond- like coatings using PVD, coating by D-Gun, Titanium
Nitride coating by PVD, Plasma coating of Ceramics on Hydro-
turbine components. These projects have been funded under
various mechanisms of TIFAC, DST etc. User awareness and propagation
of knowledge on this emerging area is being continued by TIFAC
through lectures, articles (a cover story was published on
this technology in MM-The Industry Magazine this year).
Special Initiatives on Materials: Steel
Major initiatives taken on Steel sector by TIFAC
earlier have led to formulation of a large number of R&D
projects, which are now being considered by Ministry of Steel
for funding. TIFAC is a member of the Evaluation Group set
up to review and recommend proposals. During the past one
year, this group has reviewed around 48 proposals, related
to emerging technologies in the Iron and Steel sector. Out
of these, the Empowered Committee of the Ministry of Steel
has approved 20 proposals (Total value: Rs.149 crore, out
of which Steel Development fund contribution is Rs. 79 crore).
Interaction with International agencies
TIFAC as a nodal agency for S&T cooperation
with ASEAN countries, participated in the third ASEAN-India
Working Group meeting on 26 & 27th August 1999 at Jakarta,
Indonesia. TIFAC also participated in the second, ASEAN-India
Working Group meeting on Science & Technology (WGST) which
was held at Singapore on 25-26 October 1999. An eight-member
delegation of scientists from India attended the meeting.
Fuel Pellets from Municipal Solid Waste
This is a DST-CMC Technology executed by TIFAC
through Andhra Pradesh Technology Development & Promotion
Center (APTDC), a joint project of TIFAC, CII & Govt.
of Andhra Pradesh. One technology project for manufacturing
Fuel Pellets from MSW has been executed at Gundumguda; Hyderabad
in Phase I. This plant is under commissioning/trial stage.
In Phase II an electrical power generation plant using the
Fuel Pellets would be commissioned. The plant will process
about 1000 Tons Per Day (TPD) of MSW with a yield of about
200 TPD of Fuel Pellets which in turn would generate about
8 MW of electricity in Phase II. The Fuel Pellets also known
as Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) having a calorific value of about
3500 Kcal/kg, could be used to generate steam for use in Industrial
boiler as well as to generate electricity. A number of Indian
and Foreign companies have shown interests in this technology.
Recently one request about this technology has been received
from one Sri Lankan Company.
Hydrogen Technology Cell
A Hydrogen Technology Cell (HTC) of TIFAC has
been approved with an objective to make a special initiative
to embark on a series of studies and technology developmental
pursuits for ushering in Hydrogen economy in the country on
a programmatic approach. Developing information up dates,
creating knowledge networks, building up local capacity for
technology and human resources development, facilitation of
resources development and innovative financing of new technologies
and organizing regular awareness programmes are some of the
immediate activities taken up by the HTC of TIFAC to make
a beginning and gain a foot hold in opening up an environmental
friendly era in the next millennium.
Energy Tower Project
This Eco-friendly concept of generating clean
electrical energy from the atmospheric wind by artificially
manipulating its humidity and thermal gradients is relatively
a new concept. The principal concept is to cool the hot and
dry air of desert by a fine spray of water within a tall and
large diameter shaft where the higher density cooled downward
air flow reaches high velocity and actuates turbine to generate
electricity. TIFAC is studying the project with an experienced
international group of technology.
Government / Industry Cooperation in Cartography
The Special Core Group constituted under the
Chairmanship of Secretary DST and Director (NATMO) as Member
Secretary in March 1997 has submitted its report on "Government-Industry
Cooperation in Cartography". The report gives an account
of the Indian cartography in last fifty years, the current
status of cartography in government sector and the industry,
the technological scenario, Indo-foreign co-operation, strengths
and weaknesses in government and industry.
The report also includes several recommendations for improved
cooperation between government and industry.
Assessment of Innovation Potential of Students
Practical Projects from Professional Colleges
TIFAC has signed a MoU with Indian National
Academy of Engineering (INAE), New Delhi for carrying out
a Pilot Study and collection of data on students projects.
The study, which is to cover professional Engineering colleges,
has already started and data on students projects is
being collated by INAE to assess their innovation potential.
These reports are to be circulated by INAE to select industries
and research laboratories.
Interactive S&T promotion
In order to promote Science & Technology
awareness in schools and colleges, along with IT based learning
at homes, schools and colleges, TIFAC and Vigyan Prasar have
taken up a joint project to develop an IT based model. The
model uses CHOIS Server technology developed by M/s Innomedia
Technologies Pvt. Ltd. Bangalore.
The CHOIS Server is placed at the cable head-end and allows
distribution of interactive TV services over the Cable TV
Network. This project proposes to extend the CHOIS Server
for the educational needs and S&T promotional activities.
The project has already begun with one server and the initial
phase of building a replication model for this technology
is being experimented with one school.
- Technology Vision for India upto 2020: Follow-up Action
There are a number of actions taking place independently
including by some states towards follow up of recommendations
of Technology Vision 2020. Some of the special items taken
up by TIFAC are maturing into actions. The progress in brief
of respective action teams is reported below:
Agriculture & Agromachinery
A detailed study on benchmark Survey for the
project "A Systems approach to agricultural production
for increasing production in low productivity regions"
was carried out. The work included identification of villages,
soil testing and analysis, water management plans and strategies.
Based on the benchmark survey study the detailed project was
formulated during the previous year and has been approved
during the year. The project envisages interalia, demonstration
trial in Son Commands Complex, Patna district, Bihar. The
results indicate increase in productivity by around 285% in
selected demonstration area for Paddy.
A detailed study on BenchMark Survey for the
project "Science & Technology Experimental Project
in Orissa for Agricultural Development as well as Village
Sustainability" was carried out. Based on the Bench Mark
Survey, a detailed project report has been formulated. The
project envisages development in three phases phase
1 being Water Resource Development Plan, phase 2 identifies
cropping pattern and farming of different varieties of produce
including training to farmers and phase 3 describes introduction
and choice of tiny industries. Priority-1 (Phase-1) of the
project, water resource development plan has been undertaken.
Agro Food Processing
The Project "Improvement in Milk Quality
& Yield through better Farm Management" has been
approved during the year. The project envisages better farm
management practices, use of milking machines, use of bulk
coolers and training of extension officers and farmers.
Fruits and Vegetables
The project on "Mango Juice Preparation"
and "Banana Juice Preparation" are being pursued.
The projects on "Modernisation of Rice
Milling Industries" and "Modernisation of Wheat
Milling Industries" are being discussed with industries
for preparation of detailed project reports.
Based on the discussions with CRRI and Ministry
of Surface Transport the following two projects have been
considered for preparation of detailed project reports.
1. Performance based pavement designs &
2. Drainage road structure using geo-textiles
The action team identified the following two
projects on priority basis
- Static Compensator (STATCOM)
- Phase Shifting Transformer (PST)
The projects are under consideration for approval
and to be implemented by BHEL.
Advanced Sensors/Strategic Industries
ISRO is consolidating the various works done
in the area. Mature technologies are being identified for
State of Uttar Pradesh
On the request of Secretary, Department of Science
& Technology, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh, and interaction
with these officials, a concept & approach paper on Technology
Vision 2020 for the State of Uttar Pradesh in 8 core
strength areas of U.P. This will be discussed for further
- Integration of Computational Facility for Scientific
Research-High Performance Computing Facility (ICOSER)
ICOSER project aims at development of high performance
computing facilities in some of the research and engineering
institutions in the country and networking these institutions.
Networking and Utilisation of computers in the
7 level-III centres namely IACS Calcutta, IIT-Guwahati, IOP
Bhubaneshwar, IIT-Madras, Cochin University, IIT-Mumbai and
Panajan University-Chandigarh have been developed.
Initiation of the establishment of 5 level-II
centres will be done.
The Home Grown Technology (HGT) programme is
a major mechanism of TIFAC for supporting the commercialization
of technologies developed by indigenous R&D. HGT programme
assists to reach technologies from a bench scale level to
pilot scale or semi-commercial level. HGT has been organising
workshops in association with industry bodies and other funding
agencies on a quarterly basis to forward the dialogue between
industry and technology developers.
During the year 20 new projects have been funded
by TIFAC and two technologies were commercialised. They are
"Rapid Diagnostic Kits for poultry and veterinary diseases"
and "Synthetic substitute for Kerosene in pigment printing".
The license for commercializing the diagnostic kit has been
given to M/s Hoechst Rousell Vet Pvt. Ltd., Pune. The technology
was released at a function held on the "Technology Day"
(May 11th, 1999) and the Honorable Minister for HRD and S&T,
Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi received a cheque of Rs.50 lakh on
behalf of TIFAC.
BAIF Development Research Foundation, Pune developed
this reliable, sensitive farmer-friendly kit which
can help farmers in diagnosing IBD disease in the poultry
and Brucella in the cattle. The kit is based on ELISA technique
and is small in the size. Using the kit farmers can easily
diagnose these diseases and corrective measures can be taken
Four Technology Business Meets were held in
Mumbai, Bangalore, Ludhiana & Kanpur. These were organised
jointly by TIFAC, TDB, CII and SIDBI Venture Capital Division.
TIFAC also actively participates in the Technopreneur
Promotion Programme (TePP) which has been initiated as a joint
venture between PATSER of DSIR and TIFAC, to promote the individual
innovators and inventors in the country. So far five projects
under this programme have been supported by TIFAC.