Next Tech Lab from SRM Institute of Science and Technology (formerly known as SRM University) won big at the Reimagine education awards 2018 organised by Quacquarelli Symonds and Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. The conference and awards took place at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown in Pennsylvania, USA and the biggest names in education were in attendance. Quacquarelli Symonds, better known as QS is famous for its annual publication of international university rankings. SRM Institute of Science and Technology (IST) currently holds a 4 star rating from QS. Next Tech Lab was awarded the Silver prize in student-led innovation for spearheading student-led cross-disciplinary research in India. Nominees for the awards included Massachusetts Institute of Technology, National University of Singapore, Imperial College London and other renowned universities. The final nominees were selected from thousands of entries worldwide and invited to take part in the showcase pitch conducted at the conference.
Next Tech Lab was founded by Anshuman Pandey and Aditthya Ramakrishnan who spent a semester at MIT, Cambridge on a scholarship. Intrigued by the anti-disciplinary research culture of the MIT Media Lab, they decided to start a lab at their own university. While Next Tech doesn’t just ape the Media Lab framework like in Richard Feynman’s anecdotes about “Cargo-Cult Science”, its policies are built to foster innovation and disruptive thinking. Researchers work on Deep Learning/ Artificial Intelligence, Computational Biology, Electrical Systems, Mixed Reality, Blockchains/ Decentralisation & Internet of Things. The lab has advisors from MIT, CMU, Cambridge University and silicon-valley start-ups. Members of the lab bag top research and industry internships, win international Hackathons and present their research at prestigious conferences.
Next Tech Lab has locations in Kattankulathur, Tamil Nadu and Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh. Next Tech Lab AP recently finished a project using Augmented Reality to redefine the learning paradigm for elementary school children. The apps are being deployed in schools to supplement regular classes. The conference was sponsored by Google, Microsoft, IBM, Amazon among other tech giants heavily invested in the education industry. The judging panel included executives/CEOs and professors/chancellors from Amazon, IBM, Wharton, QS, MIT, Columbia, and LSE.