Dr Vilas Sinkar
Ex-Vice President R&D Unilever

Education:B.Sc. & M.Sc. (University of Bombay); MS &Ph.D. (University of Rochester, USA)

Post-Doctoral Research: Department of Biochemistry at University of Washington, USA

Last Positions Held:  Retired as Vice President, Unilever Strategic Science and Head of Unilever R&D Bangalore. 

Earlier Positions: Director Programmes and Resource Unilever R&D Bangalore; Director, Unilever Food and Health Research Institute; Head, Environmental Safety Laboratory Hindustan Unilever; Director Skin Care Research Unilever R&D Bangalore; Director Beverages Research Unilever R&D Bangalore; Head Microbiology and Fermentation, Hindustan Lever Research Centre.

Post Retirement:  Actively working with Academiaand various National Science Organisations indeveloping roadmap for science and applications of science. Have been on Research Advisory Councils of some National Labs and Non-Profit Organisations.

Area of particular interest:  Industry academia connect. While working as Vice President at Unilever R&D and earlier positions at Unilever set up several successful scientific collaborations with leading academic groups in India and abroad.

Prof Guruswamy kumaraswamy
IIT Bombay

Guruswamy Kumaraswamy is currently a Professor of Chemical Engineering and INAE Abdul Kalam
Technology Innovation Fellow at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. His research interests
are in the area of sustainability and soft materials. His group has made important contributions to
engineering the structure of soft matter, that have been translated into technologies.

Dr. Vidya Gupta
Dr Vidya Gupta
Emeritus Scientist, CSIR-NCL

Dr Vidya Gupta, a fellow of NAAS, India was working in the area of plant biochemistry and molecular biology at CSIR-NCL, Pune for forty years. She superannuated from CSIR-NCL as Chief Scientist and Chair followed by CSIR Emeritus scientist. She has research experience in four areas, namely metabolomics, molecular markers based agro-economic trait analysis and genetic diversity, molecular host-pest/ pathogen interactions and genome organization. Currently, she has been associated with ICTRC, Pune as Research Adviser and involved in different capacities with various activities of CSIR, ICAR, DST and DBT. Her postgraduation and doctorate in biochemistry and chemistry, respectively are from Pune University and CSIR-NCL, Pune while postdoctoral research experience is from Texas A&M University, USA. She has 223 research publications in reputed journals with h index 55 and citations 10798. Nine national and internationally granted and four filed patents are to her credit. Thirty-seven Ph. D. scholars have received degree under her supervision. She has completed 33 projects from various national and international funding agencies. She has given more than 150 lectures in various national and international conferences and have also organized many such symposia. She has many academic awards and social honours to her credit.

Dr Premnath
Head NCL Innovations at CSIR-NCL and Director, Venture Center


Dr Premnath is Head, NCL Innovations at CSIR-NCL and Founder Director, Venture Center (National award winning inventive enterprises and deep tech incubator).  Dr Premnath is a technology developer, innovation and incubation manager, startup mentor and a co-founder of 2 medtech startups. One of his inventions — a breakthrough material for hip and knee joint replacements — has been implanted in more than a million patients worldwide. Another technology for porous maxillo-facial implants has been implanted in thousands of patients in India and abroad.  He has provided leadership for teams that have won National awards for technology development, intellectual property management and  business incubation.  He is chemical engineer and an alumnus of MIT in the US, IIT-Bombay (Distinguished Alumnus, 2022) and has been a Chevening Technology Enterprise Scholar in Cambridge, UK.  

Dr Sanjay Nene
CEO and Founding Director at Innovation Biologicals, Pune

Dr Nene is CEO and Founding Director at Innovation Biologicals, a startup incubated at Venture Center. He was with CSIR-NCL as Chief Scientist and Head of Biochemical Engineering Unit, Chemical Engineering & Process Engineering Division. He is M.Tech (Biochemical Engineering) from IIT, Delhi and PhD (Tech:Chemical Engineering) from Mumbai University. His areas of expertise include production of vaccines and biologicals, fermentation for production of enzymes (CGTase, alkalineprotease, polyphenol oxidase), recombinant proteins (phytase and lactoferrin), chemicals from renewable resources (Lactic and Pyruvic acid), energy/bioremediation (Algal cultivation), recovery of natural products: Stevioside from Stevia leaves, processing of fruit juices and natural beverages (Neera) and membrane processing, chromatography, aqueous two phase extraction, biotransformation of drug intermediates etc.

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