The National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST, formerly Regional Research Laboratory, Trivandrum) is a constituent laboratory of CSIR, India, engaged in research and development activities in the field of agroprocessing and technology, microbial processes and technology, chemical sciences and technology, material sciences and technology and process engineering and environmental technology. Around approximately 80 scientists and 300 research fellows are working in various scientific disciplines in this institute. The programmes have a blend of basic research, technology development and commercialization; have specific thrusts on frontier areas of research, National Mission Projects, regional resource-based activities and R & D - Industry - Academia linkages. The laboratory has excellent collaborative programmes with major National & International agencies too. the present director of the institute is Dr. A. Ajayaghosh.
The major research divisions in NIIST are:
1. Agroprocessing and technology division (APTD)
2. Microbial processes and technology division (MPTD)
3. Chemical sciences and technology division (CSTD)
4. Materials science and technology division (MSTD)
5. Environmental technology division
Materials Science and Technology division has divided into Functional Materials and Minerals and Metallic Materials sections.
Functional Materials has activities related to nano-ceramics, energy materials, polymeric materials, electronic materials and magnetic materials.
Minerals and Metallic Materials has activities related to metals and minerals.
This is the division in charge of undertaking research in developing innovative technologies for processing of oil seeds, spices and natural products. The core competence of the division is in process and product development and on the transformation of such processes into fully engineered technology packages for commercial exploitation. The division has set up a number of commercial plants in many states and extended technical expertise in making policy decisions in relevant areas by governmental and non governmental agencies. Technology Business Incubation Centre (TBIC) in the area of spices and natural products contribute towards development of innovative technologies. Major research includes quality improvement of palm oil, spice oil/ oleoresins, swing technology for processing of fresh and dry spices, Refrigeration Adsorption Dehumidified Drying (RADD) of heat sensitive materials, Ginger oil extraction, and nutraceutical studies.