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University of Toronto to establish centre in India in partnership with Tata Trust

Tata Trust will provide support for establishing the University of Toronto School of Cities Alliance in India, with a network of Canadian and Indian researchers.

world Updated: Sep 06, 2018 10:37 IST
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Hindustan Times, Toronto
University of Toronto,University of Toronto India,University of Toronto India centre
Women enter the Medical Sciences Building at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario, Canada August 8, 2018. (REUTERS)

Canada’s premier academic institution, the University of Toronto (UofT), will establish a centre in India in partnership with Tata Trust that will foster urban research and serve as an entrepreneurship hub.

This was announced by Manoj Kumar, head of institutions, innovation and entrepreneurship at Tata Trust, among India's leading philanthropic organisations, at the second India Invest Conference in Toronto. Speaking at the event, Kumar said this centre will focus on creating “societal solutions" that could apply “not just in India but globally”.

Tata Trust will provide support for establishing the University of Toronto School of Cities Alliance in India, with a network of Canadian and Indian researchers working together to “address the country’s most pressing urban issues", according to a statement from the university.

“This new centre will translate academic research into high-impact solutions for low-resource settings and address issues that have socio-economic and environmental significance,” Kumar said.

The centre will be located at either Mumbai or Bengaluru but university president Meric Gertler, in an interview with Hindustan Times on the sidelines of the conference, said the idea is to have “a kind of a network as well" that will take its activities and impact beyond the host city.

“Our partnership will bring together leading experts from both countries to address some of India's most pressing economic and social development challenges, and together we will contribute to knowledge and innovation with a global impact,” he said.

The centre is expected to become operational over the next couple of years, after the location is decided.

The two sides will also cooperate on an entrepreneurship hub "bridging UofT and India's network of entrepreneurs and innovators, and making it easier to exchange ideas, capital and resources”, according to the statement. "Both India and Canada, particularly Toronto, are places where entrepreneurship is really exploding. The aim will be to foster collaboration and mutual learning.” Gertler said.

The India Invest Conference debuted last year and became a reality at the initiative of Prem Watsa, chairman and CEO of Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings. Watsa is a billionaire Indo-Canadian investment guru considered the “Warren Buffet of the North”.

Inaugurating the event, Watsa said the main reason he championed such an event was that there is an “unlimited opportunity of investing in India”.

First Published: Sep 06, 2018 10:37 IST