Council of Scientific and Industrial Research
 Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India
CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology
CSIR- Indian Institute of Chemical Technoogy, Hyderabad

Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad, a constituent of CSIR is a leading research Institute in the area of chemical sciences. The core strength of IICT lies in Organic Chemistry, and it continues to excel in this field for over six decades. The research efforts during these years have resulted in the development of several innovative processes for a variety of products necessary for human welfare such as drugs, agrochemicals, food, organic intermediates, adhesives etc. More than 150 technologies developed by IICT are now in commercial production.

One of the main strengths of IICT is its rich pool of scientists and PhD students numbering over 700. To create right ambience for the young researchers to carry out research. IICT has active collaborations with several countries including France, Germany, UK, Switzerland, Italy, USA, Australia, Japan, Korea etc., and several students have benefitted from various exchange visit and post-doctoral opportunities.

Brief History

Institute had its origin as the Central Laboratories for Scientific & Industrial Research (CLSIR), established in 1944 by the then Government of Hyderabad State. After integration of Hyderabad State with the Indian Union, CLSIR was formally opened by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India on January 2, 1954. In 1956, the Central Laboratories came under the aegis of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi and was renamed as the Regional Research Laboratory. As a recognition of its strength in chemical science and technology as well as the growing national character, the laboratory was rechristened as the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad in 1989.

Research Outputs

In terms of research outputs, IICT has an outstanding record in research publications, patents, technology packages in the CSIR system. A recent study positions IICT at number one with respect to number of publications, cumulative impact factor, total number of patents filed. IICT is a front runner in the following areas of research.

Leadership in drug discovery and delivery systems

During the early years of IICT, the generic drug industry depended heavily on IICT’s expertise and technologies. As the industry grew in size and foreign equity started flowing in, most of the firms ramped up their R&D and the R&D business for IICT started dwindling. Foreseeing the trend, IICT began making forays into new drug discovery and began synthesising new drug molecules. Later when the Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) has come into force, the industry stopped outsourcing R&D for generic drug to research laboratories. By then IICT established itself as a new drug discovery lab and has synthesized several new molecules for screening against different targets and several new drugs were introduced into the market. The primary lead molecules thus identified are then transferred to industry for further development. Terminal diseases, like cancer is given special attention and several programs are underway for development of new chemical entities as anti cancer therapeutics. Work is also underway towards the development of diagnostics and target based molecular medicines against allergy, bronchial asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Some of these developments in years to come might enable drug manufactures to develop new drugs at affordable price to ‘Aam Aadmi’.

IICT has also taken a lead in the development of drug delivery systems, especially for anticancer drugs. The integrin receptor specific liposomal delivery systems was found to be highly efficient for targeting anti-cancer drugs/genes selectively to tumor vasculatures in anti-angiogenic cancer therapy. IICT has also developed Sigma Receptors and Estrogen Receptor Specific liposomal delivery systems for use in Targeted Cancer Therapy.

To screen new chemical entities, target-based biochemical screens and cell-based screens for biological activity against diseases, a dedicated chemical biology facility is necessary. To this end, a Centre for Chemical biology facility has been established at IICT. In the first phase the the centre would have facilities in the areas of diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and CNS disorder. These would be expanded in phase to cover other disease areas. The institute has also established a mol-bank to store the large number of new chemical entities it synthesizes every year.

Ecofriendly alternatives to pesticides

IICT has developed technologies making use of Pheromones, (organic substances released by the organisms for communication purpose within their own species) as alternatives to pesticides. The Pheromone Application Technology (PAT), which is associated with species specificity, safety to non-target organisms, ease of use and efficacy in reducing the damage, can manage quite effectively the pests and thereby losses to the farmers. PAT is highly suitable for the control of insect pests that are internal feeders, borers, webbers, miners and storage pests. The Pheromone Group at IICT, Hyderabad is leading the way in the development (isolation, identification, synthesis of pheromone components and dispenser development) and implementation (field evaluations and demonstrations of developed pheromones) of PAT for the management of various important crop pests. The Government of Andhra Pradesh has recognized the phermone technology developed by IICT for Ground nut crop and is taking necessary measures to popularize this technology

Fluoroorganic chemicals

With rising global concerns, a blanket ban on the use of Freon, halons and several CFC generating substances that deplete the ozone layer was globally imposed in mid Nineties. The technology for substitutes like HFCs was not indigenously available and. the global players like Dupont and ICI kept the technology a closely guarded secret. To stem the flow of foreign exchange, the Government of India sought help from research institutes to develop the technologies for HF based chemicals. HFS being highly toxic and corrosive, other than IICT no other lab came forward to take up the challenging task of developing fluorine based chemicals/ products. IICT has developed several such fluoroorganic chemicals. Most notable among them are HFC-134a and FM-200 (a substitute for halons) which are under commercial production. M/s. SRF limited produces about four thousand tons of HFC-134a per annum resulting in a saving of foreign exchange to the tune of Rs. 120 Cr. In addition to the development of processes/products that address problems global environment, IICT has also developed fluorine chemicals in applications related to drugs, fine chemicals, polymers

Oils and Lipids research

IICT has been working on oils for well over six decades. Taking the baton forward, IICT also started working on lipids research and is establishing a centre for lipids research. An environment-friendly enzymatic degumming process was developed to produce high quality Rice Bran Oil (RBO). The RBO produced by this process retains all nutritional components such as oryzanol, tocopherols, tocotrienols etc., in the refined oil. These nutritional components are lost in the traditional alkali refining process. The process developed by IICT yields 1 - 1.5 % more oil and 0.3 to 0.6% more fatty acid compared to other processes and yet retains all nutritional values. Water wash is not necessary after enzymatic degumming and hence oil loss is less and the process is effluent-free. The technology is in practice in more than 27 industries across 9 states.

Sustainable Energy

IICT has pioneered the research related to coal gasification of Indian coals and developed a technology for 650 MW IGCC plant. In addition to its work on fossil fuels, IICT has also developed technologies for the production of biodiesel. Work is underway for the development of dye-sensitised solar cells.

Catalysis and catalyst development

The catalysis group at CSIR-IICT specializes in the development of catalysts for various industrial applications. The research focuses on Homogenous and heterogenous catalysts including mixed oxides, solid acids, solid bases, metal complexes, anchored catalysts, mesoporous and microporous materials, and zeolites. Photocatalysis, organometallics, asymmetric catalysis, green chemical processes. Catalysts for biomass conversion to value-added chemicals. Hydrogen production from natural gas, capture and conversion of global warming gases employing mesoporous / microporous materials

Biocatalysis and Bio transformations

The enzymology and biotransformations group is working in areas related to application of enzymes/microbes for various chemical transformations towards developing clean and green technologies and processes for important compounds of commercial

Functional materials, organic coatings and polymers

The functional materisla group specializes on research related to: Electrode materials, sensitizers based on organometallic, organic and tetrapyrollic compounds, hole transport materials, redox electrolytes, nanomaterials and their polymer composites for applications in energy devices (excitonic solar cells, OLEDs), coatings, adhesives, composites, construction materials diagnostics and healthcare. The research activities also include renewable/natural resource based monomers/polymers, photo curable polymers, fluoropolymers, hyperbranched polymers, biomaterials, block copolymers, conducting polymers, polymer blends, polymer/oxide/metal/fiber/composites /nanocomposites.

Analytical Chemical Sciences

IICT has state-of-art analytical facilities to help the scientists in their research. Research activities in the analytical chemistry group encompass Spectroscopy (NMR, UV, Mass etc) Chromatographic techniques, single crystal & polymorphism studies involving XRD and other areas of analytical chemistry. Analysis of bulk drugs, finished pharmaceutical products, impurity profiling of drugs and pesticides.

Chemical Engineering Sciences

The chemical engineering group of IICT has necessary expertise and infrastructure to scale up bench-scale research to pilot and commercial scale. The group researches on experimental evaluation of process routes to design & commission of commercial plants involving scale up studies, kinetic, phenomenological and data-driven models, product modelling & design, new sensor configuration methods, process control & optimization strategies, fault detection & diagnosis, process safety, development of new membranes for different gas separations, dehydration of solvents by membrane distillation and pervaporation, liquid–liquid extraction, reactive extraction, hydrodynamic studies, process intensification studies, and thermodynamic studies.

Biosciences and chemical biology

The Biosciences group works on: Disease specific target development, screening of molecules to identify potential leads for drugs and pharma industry, cancer biology & research, Bioinformatics, development/ application of bioinformatics tools for management of vectors and vector borne diseases, Entomology, Toxicology, Design and synthesis of cationic lipid based novel gene delivery systems, development of cancer targeted liposomal gene and drug delivery systems and development of lipidbased anticancer molecules.

Environmental Sciences & Engineering

The environmental sciences & engineering group specializes on developing waste treatment and utilization technologies for industrial process industries. The group also carries out research in : Biogas conversion to energy and value-added chemicals, anaerobic and aerobic treatment processes of industrial and organic wastes, waste utilization, zero-discharge processes, generation of value added products and energy from organic wastes.

Public Private partnerships

To accelerate the commercialization of new technologies, to affordable technologies, CSIR-IICT had established a Biotechnology Incubation Centre (BTIC) in the Genome Valley Biotech park at Hyderabad, in association with the Govt. of Andhra Pradesh, with financial support from the Department of Biotechnology, New Delhi. BTIC, the first of its kind in India, nurtures and mentors emerging ventures in the biotechnology area and assists new enterprises to forge appropriate linkages with other biotech companies, academia and government. The operation and asset management of the BTIC is outsourced to a private firm, M/s Genome Valley Tech parks and Incubators Private Limited marking the establishment of first public private partnership venture in biotechnology. Earlier, IICT has entered into PPP ventures to promote research in chemical genomics with M/s Evolva and for Dye-Sensitized solar cells with M/s AISIN COSMOS. Few more such ventures are being planned for stem-cell research.

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