The 13th International High Energy Materials Conference and Exhibits, being organised by the High Energy Materials Society of India, in association with Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL), UT, began here today.

Inaugurating the conference, Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary, Department of Defence Research and Development and Chairman, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), stressed that collaborative research was the way ahead for the country to become self-reliant and a scientific powerhouse.

Stating that the country needs to be self-reliant not only in raw materials, but also in composite technology, he said the DRDO Centres of Excellence in High Energy Material Shock and Detonics were planned to be set up at IITs to harness the potential of the academia.

Industry, MSMEs and start-ups were involved in development efforts through DRDO’s Technology Development Fund, he added.

While urging the scientific community to explore new frontiers of technology to meet the emerging requirements of the armed forces and other strategic sectors, Dr Reddy also called upon the need to develop green propellants and explosives to counter harmful chemical emissions.

Dr PK Mehta, Director General Armaments, DRDO, and Dr BHVS Narayana Murthy, Director General Missiles and Strategic Systems, DRDO, spoke about the emerging technologies and challenges in these fields, while Dr A Rajarajan, Director, Satish Dhavan Space Centre, gave an overview of India’s space programme and future prospects.

Prateek Kishore, Director, TBRL, said the new generation of energetics required stable and powerful, but insensitive compounds whose processing and output should be safe, maintain environmental factors and be amenable to disposal after its operating life.

Over 100 Indian academic delegates and 600 scientific community from the DRDO, Department of Atomic Energy, Indian Space Research Organisation, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the armed forces are participating in the three-day event.

Delegates from 10 countries, including Russia, Germany, Czech Republic and Israel have registered for participation in the conference, which is aimed at providing a platform to discuss, share research work and exchange of scientific knowledge in defence technology related to high energy materials.