Linkages with Industries
- In the CSIR family, CLRI is one of the important laboratories maintaining very close links with the industry – both decentralised and organised sectors. The Institute has taken the industry into confidence and working in tandem in all its phases of development.
- During 70s the industry was mostly exporting raw hides and skins. Based on Seetharamaiah Committee recommendations, in 1973, the Government has banned the export of raw hides and skins and introduced quota on the export of semi-finished leathers and several incentives for exporting finished leathers and products. As a result and many positive developments both within and outside the country, the structure of the industry has undergone changes in a phased manner.
- During early 80s India’s export basket consisted of mainly finished leathers. But mid-80 onwards the share of leather products has been gradually increasing. At present more than 80% of India’s leather exports consist of finished products.
- CLRI has been playing a vital role in this transformation. On one side, it has been playing advisory role to Government in framing the industry-friendly policies and on the other side helping the industry by extending all technical advice and necessary technologies and technical manpower and made growth of the industry smooth and dynamic. The Government’s policy to export more value added products which can generate more employment and earn higher foreign exchange was well appreciated by the industry.
- The Institute has been extending the required help to the industry in major areas such as leather process technology, leather chemicals, effluent treatment, product design and quality standardization value addition to by-products and improving/supplying the trained manpower required for different sectors of the industry. To serve the industry in time and more effectively and also to meet the regional requirements of the industry, CLRI started five Regional Centres – one each at Calcutta, Kanpur, Jalandhar, Ahmedabad and Mumbai. These centres are working as nodal centres in transfering technologies, attending trouble-shooting problems, testing and in training the human skills required by the local industry. The feed back from the industry is crucial in framing the CLRI’s R&D activities. In addition to meeting the Industry Associations/ Representatives periodically, since early 60s this Institute has been organising Leather Research-Industry Get-Together (LERIG) annually – initially this event was called Tanners Get-Together (TGT).
- As early as 1964, the Institute took initiative in organising International Leather Fair and a Fashion Parade within CLRI campus. These two major events have became annual features in CLRI calendar until 1985 when Indian Trade Promotion Organisation took over the responsibility of organising trade fair and fashion show. These two events along with Tanners Get-Together were the result of Dr.Y.Nayudamma’s Vision. The industry representatives are included in all the important committees of the Institute. Thus the Institute has established a close bondage with the industry since inception and year after year this association is becoming more stronger.
- CLRI is one of the few research laboratories of the World to have a strong Academy-Research-Industry partnership linkage. Thus the Trinity – the University, R&D Laboratory and the Industry – linkages are not only strong, but it has been working effectively and profitably.
The Institute has forged strong industry-research linkages through the Council for Leather Exports (CLE), the All India Skin, Hides, Tanners and Merchants Association (AISHTMA), the Indian Finished Leather Manufacturers & Exporters Association (IFLMEA), Indian Shoe Federation (ISF), the Leather Chemical Manufacturers Association (LCMA), the Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI), National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), National Institute of Design (NID), National Leather Development Programme (NLDP), the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers (IIChE), the Indian Leather Technologists Association (ILTA), etc.
Today many National Institutes and universities are trying to emulate CLRI’s role model in interacting with industry. Indian leather industry’s involvement and response to the Institute’s activities have been always complete.