Who: Department of Biotechnology
What: Tied-up with Prakash Lab
When: 5 October 2015
Why: To distribute Foldscope to students
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) on 5 October 2015 tied-up with US firm Prakash Lab to provide the Prakash Lab’s low cost paper folding-microscope, the Foldscope to students in India. Foldscope will be used as an educational tool to understand physics, chemistry, biology and instrumentation.
The Foldscope was developed by Dr Manu Prakash, an Indian-origin Assistant Professor at Stanford University.
In this regard, the Letter of Intent was exchanged between DBT and the Prakash Lab in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Silicon Valley in USA in September 2015. Prakash Lab is a research group at Stanford University working in the field of engineering and physical biology.
Highlights of the Tie-up
• Prakash Lab will source Foldscope to DBT and its constituents.
• The DBT will ensure that the Foldscope is provided to students of the Star College scheme in each identified college.
• Workshops and training programmes will be run by Prakash Lab in collaboration with Indian institutions. The nascent Local Foldscope community based in India will also be involved in training.
• After this initial pilot program, the collaboration with Prakash Lab will be expanded to setting up of joint research for explorations of other low cost instrumentation in colleges as deemed mutually appropriate.
• The Foldscope is torchlight in the hands of human curiosity that allows each and every one to explore the planet at the microscopic level, just as the telescope allows us to explore the stars.
• Foldscope is provided as a kit where the student starts by first building the actual unit from the kit and explores curiosity driven questions surrounding the microscopic world in physics, chemistry and biology.
• The users of Foldscope also build an online community and share insights, projects, questions and scientific discoveries with the community at Foldscope online platform.