IIT-Bombay, Canadian varsity tie up on energy, health research | world | Hindustan Times
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IIT-Bombay, Canadian varsity tie up on energy, health research

world Updated: Jul 07, 2009 13:15 IST

The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, has joined hands with Edmonton-based University of Alberta to work together on energy and health research.

Under a three-year agreement finalised at the weekend by IIT-Bombay professor Pradipta Banerji, students and faculty members from the two institutions will travel to India and Canada for research in the two fields.

"There is the possibility of our positioning this relationship as one important cog in the wheel of India-Canada relations, both in industry and government. And we will investigate all possibilities," said Banerji after finalising the agreement.

He said: "We saw a lot of value in the University of Alberta, including its National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT). What we are hoping to do is make this agreement go on for 30 years on its own steam."

Banerji said IIT-Bombay has "one of the world's best nano-fabrication facilities in the world. We have the ability to fabricate nine-inch wafers, which does not exist in any other educational facility in the world.

"One of the things that we see is NINT at the University of Alberta and IIT-Bombay's facilities synergising to do something fantastic."

The Indian professor said collaboration in health research would extend from nano-biosensors, used for sensing infectious diseases, to drug delivery systems and non-infectious diseases.

"India has one of the largest populations, which is going to be affected by both Type 1 and 2 diabetes. So just to be able to sense this before it becomes a health problem is an issue of vital importance," Banerji said.

Ranked 36th by Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings among engineering and IT universities, IIT-Bombay accounts for 20 percent of India's PhD graduates.

Indira Samarasekera, president of the University of Alberta, said partnering with IIT-Bombay was part the university's mission to forge connections globally.

She said: "Health and energy issues present challenges that require the sort of cooperative opportunities this agreement with IIT-Bombay will provide our students and faculty who are working steadfastly to find solutions that will impact the far corners of the world."

Samarasekera added: "Our partnership with IIT-Bombay also illustrates our commitment to serve Alberta and the country, as it makes it possible for our researchers to travel and work directly with their counterparts in India through summer school programmes, joint research initiatives and our new Distinguished University of Alberta-IIT-Bombay Professorship in Nanotechnology/Energy exchange programme."

The University of Alberta is ranked 74th worldwide.