Indian Jute Industries’ Research Association (IJIRA) was conceived on the 10th September 1937 when a small co-operative research department was established at Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) at 16 Old Court House Street, Calcutta. Dr. W G Macmillan, Ph. D. (Cantab.), B.Sc., Ph. D. (Aberd.), F.R.I.C., F.T.I. was at the helm as the Chief Chemist along with four other staff. The research department, as it grew in size, was baptized as Indian Jute Mills Association Research Institute in September 1943 – IJMARI in short.
IJMARI soon became tall in stature and too large in size to be accommodated within the precinct of the Old Court House Street complex, search for an alternative suitable site was set in motion. Finally the present location at 17, Taratola Road was selected and the land was leased on long term basis from the Commissioners for the Port of Calcutta in 1947. The foundation stone was laid on 7th April, 1948 by Mr. J R Walker, the then Chairman of the Executive Committee of IJMARI for a new building of the Association. The new Association building was opened by none other than the first Prime Minister of Indian Republic – Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on 2nd January 1952.
IJMARI was wound up in 1966 and was rechristened as Indian Jute Industries’ Research Association (IJIRA). IJIRA then got registered under West Bengal Societies Registration Act,1961. In 1972 a Pilot Plant measuring 54,000 sq.ft was added.
IJIRA today is truly world class – in size and sophistication, in research and resources, in capabilities and commitment. In fact Indian Jute Industries’ Research Association (IJIRA) has been a pioneer, heralding the concept of Co-operative Research for industry, introduced for the first time in India, which was later adopted by other organized industries in India to set up their own R & D institutes. In the present day context, where jute is poised for enormous applications in both textile and non-textile areas IJIRA plays a lead role in keeping with the world trends and market.
As the demand increased, IJIRA spread its tentacles to other parts of the country from time to time. At present it has a regional centre at Guwahati (Assam), called the North East Regional Centre, Guwahati (NERC). The NERC has a Powerloom Service Centre under it.
IJIRA expertises are available both to the industry and as well government agencies. Membership of IJIRA is open to Jute Mills who can become primary members of IJIRA and receive all facilities provided by the Association. They also enjoy voting rights at meetings of the general body of members. Other industries, which are related to jute in any manner, can become Associate Members. They enjoy all the technical facilities of the Association.
IJIRA was established with the purpose of bringing about improvements in the jute industry through the application of science and technology. Towards this goal, the Association has a team of highly trained scientific staff, well-equipped research laboratories, an ultra-modern Pilot Mill. In addition to research works, the Association offers its members industrial consultancy in a variety of subjects, extensive testing services, the supply of certain instruments and materials, the servicing of instruments, the free training of laboratory technicians and the facilities of a specialized library on jute technology.