Diamond co seeks MoUs for R&D with Indian institutes, others

SINGAPORE, Mar 15:  A leading diamond company in Singapore plans to increase research and development (R&D) collaboration with universities and technical institutes in India, Singapore and the US.
IIa Technologies Pte Ltd, which has an R&D collaboration with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, the Cornell University in New York, Rutgers University in New Jersey, and MoUs with Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and National University of Singapore, is now in talks for an MoU with America’s Arizona State University.
“We are planning to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Arizona State University for the applications of diamonds,” IIa chief executive officer Vishal J Mehta said adding, he sees an increasing collaboration with Indian and Singapore universities also.
IIa Technologies which grew 300,000 carats of diamond last year and expects to grow 15 per cent more this year, is concerned over the decline in skilled-labour in India where the company’s diamonds are polished, cut and processed.
The decline in manpower in the Indian diamond industry, which is estimated at 400,000 this year, down from one million in 2009, is a concern, Mehta said.
There is a need to develop skill in various segments of managing diamonds in new applications as well as maintaining the level of traditional diamond polishing and cutting skill, he added.
Citing a Frost & Sullivan report, the CEO said, diamond output from global mines is on a decline.
The globally-mined diamond supply would decline to 13 million carats in 2050 from the estimated 133 million carats in 2014 considering a base case scenario, said the report.
“Almost all of the major diamond mines are now past their peak production levels,” the report pointed out.
Mehta said he was concerned about the depletion in diamond supply as the precious stone is becoming more important for use in the most advanced technology-driven applications. (PTI)


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