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Posted: April 16, 2010
Australia-India partnership to establish a bionanotechnology research center in New Delhi
(Nanowerk News) A new research centre to study food and water security and health care is to be established by Deakin University in partnership with The Energy and Resources Institute of India (TERI).
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the two institutions last week to establish the new BioNanotechnology Research Centre in New Delhi.
Vice Chancellor of Deakin University, Professor Sally Walker, and the Executive Director of India’s TERI, Dr Leena Srivastava, signed the MoU in the presence of India’s Minister for Education, Shri Kapil Sibal, and Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.
Researchers from Deakin University’s Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (ITRI) will bring their expertise to the design of novel nanomaterials while TERI researchers in the Biotechnology and Management of Bioresources Division (BMBD) will contribute their experience in biotech applications in pharmacology, food, agriculture and environmental areas.
It was hoped that within five years the Centre would have around 70 researchers, including 50 PhD students enrolled at Deakin and co-supervised by Deakin and TERI staff.
Professor walker said the Centre would be a hub for the Deakin India Research Initiative (DIRI) launched last year, which involves up to a further 50 PhD students located in Indian industries or with other research partners co-supervised by leading researchers in India and Australia.
Director of the new Centre, Dr Alok Adholeya said the BioNanotechnology Centre had the potential to help solve problems facing the two countries.
“It is imperative to adopt new emerging technologies to meet challenges like health care, water and food security head-on,” Dr Adholeya said.
Director of ITRI, Professor Peter Hodgson, said combining biotech with nanotechnology would transform materials science.
“It is an incredibly exciting area and a great privilege to be working with a prestigious and innovative research institute like TERI that is dedicated to effective and sustainable solutions,” Professor Hodgson said.
Professor Walker said Deakin University’s activities in India continued to grow and included partnerships in teaching, research and industry training.
“Research partnerships of the kind exemplified by the BioNanotechnology Research Centre provide a tangible example of Deakin’s objective to work in partnership with India on mutually beneficial programs,” she said.