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In a bid to increase the level of processing knowledge in the country, the Plastindia Foundation will fund what it is calling a Knowledge Centre in Gujarat, India, near Mumbai. Arvind Mehta, president of the Foundation, toured the new site with MPW’s Ajit Nagpurkar and discussed his hopes for the new investment.

John Clark

October 1, 2009

2 Min Read
Plastindia Foundation launches Knowledge Centre

In a bid to increase the level of processing knowledge in the country, the Plastindia Foundation will fund what it is calling a Knowledge Centre in Gujarat, India, near Mumbai. Arvind Mehta, president of the Foundation, toured the new site with MPW’s Ajit Nagpurkar and discussed his hopes for the new investment.

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India’s youth, as well as experienced processors, will benefit from the new Knowledge Center.

Mehta said the Plastindia Foundation Knowledge Centre would be established on a large (50 acres) plot of land, with construction now commencing. “The Center will be a world-class technical and professional education and training facility with courses specially designed and dedicated to the polymer and plastics industry consisting of plastic processing/material technology; mold design and fabrication technology; and a design and innovation center. Besides these core courses, the center will also have specialized programs such as training for use of plastics in agriculture; plastic waste management and technology of recycling; surface modification; rapid prototyping; printing; painting; decoration; and more,” he explained. Management of plastics processing operations also is high on the list of courses to be offered. During June’s NPE tradeshow in Chicago, Mehta, in a press conference, explained that his country’s industry generally had access to top technology and had well-trained engineers, but that many processing facilities lacked professional management.

The decision to set up the Knowledge Centre, under the aegis of Plastindia Foundation but as a separate entity, was made during a meeting of the group’s managing committee meeting in March 2008. Seed capital from the Foundation was used for procurement of the land. Plastindia is best known as the organizer of the country’s Plastindia triennial tradeshow. Committee members agreed, said Mehta, that “the qualified and skilled manpower of the Indian plastics industry need to be addressed for its sustained growth.”

The Knowledge Centre, he said, will be a training ground for students in high-tech manufacturing processes, building awareness and practical insight and offering small-to-mid-sized processors access to machinery and equipment they may not have but can use to build the skills of the workforce. He said the center also will serve as an R&D facility “to create intellectual property.” The Center is pursuing collaboration with international training centers and educational facilities known for their plastics platforms, including the University of Massachusetts-Lowell; The University of Plastics Processing in Aachen, Germany; the University of Paderborn (also Germany), and the Hong Kong Plastics Technology Center. In addition, collaboration with Indian institutes including the NID (Ahmedabad) and IIT and UICT (both Mumbai) is planned. Mehta said the domestic industry also has indicated its intent to support the development.

This Center will be a circa Rs.100 Crores ($20 million) investment. —[email protected]

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