National Institute of Technology (NIT) Trichy has initiated four major toy development and support projects for toy clusters in Thanjavur and Madurai districts to overcome the challenges they are facing. The institute, which has been chosen as the design implementing agency by the Union MSME department, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation (TIIC) Limited to support more startups and MSMEs with their advanced laboratories. They will provide technological support to the toy manufacturers including access to 3D Printing.
The Centre for Entrepreneurship Development and Incubation (CEDI), a company promoted by NIT-T, will encourage toy producers to innovate their designs and produce low-cost toys. “We are successfully executing four design projects worth Rs 20 lakh in unison with the toy clusters in Thanjavur and Madurai. The Siemens Centre of Excellence in Manufacturing, Centres of Excellence in Advanced Manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence are available to offer technical support,” Dr Mini Shaji Thomas, director, NIT Trichy, said.
Of the four toy development projects being executed, three were clay-based and the other one will utilise 3D printing and other additive manufacturing technologies. The MoU signed envisages financial support in the form of working capital, seed fund, capital financial support for plant and machinery to member startups or MSME units identified and incubated by CEDI. The MoU was signed by Dr Mini Shaji Thomas and T Kirubakaran, general manager, TIIC and was exchanged between Prof M. Umapathy, deputy director, NITT and Kirubakaran in the presence of state minister for industries Thangam Thennarasu.
The union MSME department said that the objective behind offering design support through NIT was to help struggling toy clusters produce low-cost toys and prevent import of expensive toys. The MoU will help startups and MSMEs in the state redefine their design, production process and operations to meet the emerging demands.