IIT Madras Prof chosen for prestigious Nikkei Asia Prizes 2020

May 1, 2020

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) Faculty Prof. T. Pradeep has been chosen for the Nikkei Asia Prizes 2020 in ‘Science and Technology’ category. He was accorded this honour in recognition of his pioneering work in nanotechnology-based water purification.

More than one crore Indians have benefitted from the research undertaken by the Research Group led by Prof T. Pradeep, Institute Professor and Deepak Parekh Institute Chair Professor, Department of Chemistry, IIT Madras. The nation conferred Padma Shri on him recently.

The Nikkei Asia Prizes are conferred on individuals who have contributed to the region’s sustainable development and to the creation of a better future in Asia. They are awarded annually in three areas – Economic and Business Innovation, Science and Technology and Culture and Community. Prof T. Pradeep is credited with developing nanotechnology-enabled water filters. They have helped to deliver clean water for at a cost of just 2 paisa per litre in India.

The prize includes a cash component of 3 Million Yen and an award certificate and is scheduled to be awarded in Tokyo later this year. First presented in 1996, Nikkei Asia Prizes has entered its 25th edition.

Prof Pradeep said, “My work is because of the intense devotion of my students, the environment we have at IIT Madras, my funding agencies and my country. It has been my dream to do something for my country.”

Past awardees from India include Dr. Manmohan Singh, N. R. Narayana Murthy, Prof. C. N. R. Rao, Kiran Majumdar-Shaw, Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, Nandan Nilekani and Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, among others. 

Prof Pradeep and his team have developed affordable and safe drinking water solutions using nanomaterials, from bench scale science to commercial products, creating knowledge, technology and wealth for social good, simultaneously. He has demonstrated that completely home-grown nanotechnology, from excellent science to relevant technology is possible in our institutions, with limited resources available from research grants, in the process transforming students to entrepreneurs. To expand the reach of these technologies globally and to conduct additional research, multiple companies have been incubated, which secured venture funding.

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