A model Rubber Incubation Centre, the first of its kind in India is to be set up at the Rubber
Research Institute of India (RRII), Kottayam in Kerala, the home of Indian natural rubber
under the joint auspices of the Rubber Board and Kerala State Industrial Development
Corporation (KSIDC), to promote rubber products sector in the country.
Inaugurating the National Rubber Conference (2017 Rubcon) themed Rubber Products
Manufacturing: Synergising Competencies at the RRII premises recently, KSIDC
Chairman, Christy Fernandez has said that the corporation would support the Rubber
Board in setting up the centre which he hoped would go a long way in promoting rubber
industrial sector in the country. He said that the centre is proposed to come up in 5000 sqft
space initially and KSIDC is willing to share the capital requirement of the Incubation
“Prosperity has been the biggest enemy of rubber sector in India as everyone thought that
no special attention is required to develop this segment. But this has been proved wrong.
Now no one, neither commerce ministry nor the agriculture is ready to take the ownership
of rubber sector. Hence, it is time for innovation and inter-disciplinary approach in all
spheres including research and development, technology,design, commercialisation and
marketing. Such an approach is essential to synergise competencies in a globalised world
and to survive amid challenges,” Christy Fernandez said.
While drawing a road-map for the future of the sector, he said that the sector should
identify the core competencies and should absorb competencies around to succeed.
“Volatility is the hallmark of rubber and it would continue. We have to invent our own
systems to overcome the challenges. A definite ownership of the rubber sector in national,
regional and provincial level is essential for confronting the issues the sector face,” he
Rubber Board Chairman and Executive Director A Ajith Kumar IAS said that a close
association among academic, research institutions and industry is the need of the hour if
we want to successfully transform technological advancements into commercially viable
and innovative solutions.
“There is vast potential for the rubber industry to grow in terms of value addition,
employment generation, technology upgradation, quality enhancement and export.
Domestic and global economic and industrial sectors are facing growing number of
uncertainties. They are ranging from fiscal,monetary, economic, geopolitical to sector-
specific. Sustainability in such an environment depends solely on global competitiveness.
Hence, the major focus of rubber products manufacturing sector shall be to enhance
quality and cost competitiveness through adoption of appropriate technology and constant
innovation. Technology and innovation are the major ingredients of strategies to confront
all the challenges the industry face,” Ajith Kumar said.
RRII Director Dr James Jacob said that the national seminar is a first step for a new
beginning to promote the rubber manufacturing sector in India. RRII Joint Director Dr Siby
Varghese also spoke.
Seven technical session were held as part of the conference. The event saw participation
of over 200 delegates.