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India Cements inks MoU with start-up Tvasta for tech tie-up

The two companies will engage in R&D and aim to develop raw material formulations for 3D Printing applications. They will also work closely on key projects that offer cost- and time-effective dwelling solutions.

May 25, 2022 / 07:38 PM IST
Rupa Gurunath with her father N Srinivasan.

Rupa Gurunath with her father N Srinivasan.

Chennai-based The India Cements Ltd and deep tech start-up Tvasta Manufacturing Solutions have just inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a technology tie-up.

This is perhaps the first time in the construction field that a leading legacy company has partnered with a start-up for technology that delivers cost-effective construction methods and promises a quick turn-around.

The MoU was signed on May 25 by Rupa Gurunath, Whole-time Director, India Cements, and Vidyashankar C, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Tvasta.

Rupa, daughter of N Srinivasan, vice-chairman and managing director of India Cements, is spearheading this partnership with the start-up.

“We are delighted to forge partnership with Tvasta, a fast-paced 3D printing firm founded by IIT-Madras Alumni. What we are particularly enthusiastic about is that this methodology is more eco-friendly, with lower consumption of water and sand, two of the most precious resources provided by Mother Nature,” said Rupa.

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Founded in 2016 by IIT Madras Alumni, Tvasta developed a ‘Made in India’ technology focusing on leveraging automation and robotics in 3D Printing platforms for faster, economical and sustainable construction methods compared to conventional technologies. The start-up is currently operating from Chennai and Bengaluru.

Commenting on  Tvasta’s work, industrialist Anand Mahindra tweeted in January: “Been following developments in 3D printed homes overseas. Critical for India, so delighted to see home-grown tech from IIT Madras (now one of the world’s leading tech incubators). I know you guys raised some seed funding, but any room for me to join in?”

Last year, Tvasta got funding from Habitat for Humanity International through its Shelter Venture Fund. Hestia Partners and Capnetic Investments, too, joined Habitat in investing in this start-up.

Tvasta is part of the new incubator of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, called ASHA Incubator, established in IIT Madras.

Set up in 2016 by three alumni from IIT Madras, its primary interests lie in the development and leveraging of 3D Printing Technology Platforms that target specific high-value industry applications. The company’s current portfolio includes verticals such as construction, where Tvasta has showcased multiple product prototypes addressing specific technology needs.

Tvasta was co-founded by three IIT Madras Alumni: VS Adithya,  C Vidyashankar and Parivarthan Reddy.

The MoU will see India Cements and Tvasta engaging in dedicated R&D and synergetic exchange of technology-centric efforts to develop new raw material formulations used in 3D Printing applications, as well as offering mutual strategic support for key projects that offer cost- and time-effective dwelling solutions.

“‘Sustainability’ is a new phenomenon for the construction industry, and we are privileged that this partnership is just about to bring it within easy reach of the common man in our country,” Rupa said.

“While most industry verticals have formulated strategies to minimise, if not eliminate, their carbon footprint, the construction industry is still working with decades-old methodologies,” said Tvasta co-founder Vidyashankar.
KT Jagannathan is a senior journalist based in Chennai
first published: May 25, 2022 07:38 pm
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