Sudha and Shankar Innovation Hub

The Sudha and Shankar Innovation Hub, located adjacent to the Institute Hospital, represents the new home for the Center for Innovation (CFI). The building, which is coloured in steel and with a giant globe in the center, is covered with glass panes. The dome represents the essence of what CFI aims to achieve: the role of India in world affairs, science and technology in the future. It’s a space that hopes to personify innovation, not just in terms of design but also to become a facilitator and mentor for young innovators.

This hub was established with funding from three sources – the 1992 batch, which initially provided funding for Nirmaan, Mr V Shankar, an alumnus from the 1981 batch, and the Gopalakrishnan-Deshpande Centre (GDC). Designed by the 2013-14 batch of IITM, the building is the epitome of student creativity. The Honourable Vice President of India, Jagdeep Dhankhar, inaugurated the new facility in January 2023.

Established in 2017, the Gopalakrishnan Deshpande Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (GDC) provides thought leadership and networking drive to aid in building systems that facilitate innovation and entrepreneurship at all levels. GDC aims to foster innovation in a way that permeates a wide segment of activities in the Institute, ranging from teaching to research to product development and policy making. The GDC sits on the second floor of this innovation hub.

Featuring a ground+2 layout with a functional terrace, the CFI building shares its space with Nirmaan, Global Engagement office and the GDC who have offices on the first two floors. With a better designed interior, the building encourages interaction among the different teams and clubs, increases output and stirs a sense of creativity and initiation.


The ground floor:

The ground floor houses all the competition teams within CFI. With biometric systems installed everywhere, the ground floor consists of a central area, a long spacious corridor and the sides divided into rooms using glass partitions. The corridor is meant for testing cars, drones, robots and other creations while the right side will provide space for the competition teams to work. Rooms to install computing facilities have also been allotted on the ground floor. The door next to the staircase connects the innovation hub to the workshops so that resources and other materials can be easily accessed.

First floor:

Home to most hardware clubs from CFI, the first floor of the innovation hub is also shared with Nirmaan, the pre-incubator. Nirmaan acts as a conduit between the GSB and IIT Madras Research Park incubation cell and further guides and facilitates these groups to transform their ideas into successful businesses. The dome area, where one can find posters, huge prototypes, whiteboards, etc. is Nirmaan’s workspace. On this floor, there is also a 3D printing room and server room that houses one of the most powerful computing systems in the campus. These rooms assist in smooth conduction of high level simulations of the CFI teams.

Second floor:

This floor is shared by the Gopalakrishnan-Deshpande Centre, IITM Alumni Association (IITMAA), and the Global Engagement Office, IIT Madras.


The terrace is shared by Sahaay (the social innovation club), Aero Club and all the software teams of CFI. Sahaay has various ongoing projects in collaboration with Rural Technology Action Group (RuTAG), which also operates from the Terrace.

So, do come join us to build at the Centre for Innovation, IITM!