Science & Nature

Free access to LabVIEW made possible for researchers

The LabVIEW platform has been opened up for free access through Indian Science Technology and Engineering Facilities Map

In what is termed a first, the Laboratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Workbench (LabVIEW) software suite will offer free access to researchers. LabVIEW is a system-design platform and development environment for a visual programming language.  To make this happen, I-STEM (or the Indian Science Technology and Engineering Facilities Map), which is the national web portal for sharing research equipment and facilities, entered into an agreement with the Austin-based National Instruments Inc.

The collaborative arrangement is aimed at enabling free access to the platform. I-STEM  is an initiative of the scientists of the Indian Institute of Science (IIS) Bangalore and is supported by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Govt. of India under the PM-STIAC mission. The free access to LabVIEW enables the availability of the software platform to academics and deep-tech start-ups in the country, and is expected to pave the way for more collaborative research and increasing innovation.

LabVIEW suitable for most computing systems

A government statement quoting Prof A K Sood, Principal Scientific Adviser, said that the benefits of such a platform would be greater if users could access experts that can help them understand and interpret the results of their experiments.  LabVIEW uses a graphic interface that enables different elements to be joined together to provide the required flow and runs on Windows, OS X (Apple), and Linux Operating systems, making it suitable for most computing systems.

The statement added that the software suite is hosted on the cloud server established by I-STEM to provide user-friendly access from anywhere in the country. With the collaborative arrangement made possible, assisting many students and researchers in the country, especially those in the more remote and less-endowed institutions, and thereby enhancing learning outcomes and promoting R&D efforts across India becomes possible. I-STEM already provides academics with access to COMSOL Multiphysics and MathWorks/MATLAB platforms, free of cost.

I-STEM portal comes with a digital catalogue of indigenous tech

The I-STEM platform has as its goal the boosting of the R&D ecosystem by connecting researchers with resources. It makes this happen by promoting technologies and scientific equipment development indigenously and providing necessary supplies and support to researchers, enabling them to access existing R&D facilities through the I-STEM web portal.

The portal hosts the database of facilities across India so that a researcher desirous of using any of them can search for the same and make a booking online for using it. Presently, the portal lists more than 22,900 pieces of equipment from 1520 institutions across the country and has been used by more than 16,000 Indian researchers. The portal also features a digital catalogue of indigenously developed technologies and products. I-STEM also hosts the platform for the various city knowledge and Innovation clusters, to enhance R&D collaboration and skill development across the country.

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Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The New Indian Express, MSN India, PanAsiaBiz. Sanjeev can be reached at [email protected]

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