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A New Joint Research Centre Nucleates Between Australia and India  Jul 08, 2016

The University of Queensland and the Indian Institute for Science Education and Research (Pune) have signalled their intention to create a new Joint Research Centre for Collaborative Impact.

A Letter of Intent to this effect has been signed in New Delhi on June 21, 2016 between the two organizations represented by Professor Middelberg, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and International), University of Queensland, and Dr Naresh Sharma (Head of International Relations for IISER Pune). The Centre will address areas of mutual strength and opportunity, including energy, genomics and infectious disease, and will focus exclusively on problems linked to industry.

Prof Middelberg and Dr Sharma sign the documents

"UQ has an ambition to grow its research collaboration with industry, particularly through triangulation with premier partners who share this ambition, like IISER Pune", Professor Middelberg said. Speaking on the goals of the Centre, Dr Sharma said that the Centre would promote industry-academia partnerships by identifying areas of mutual interest and providing students and postdocs mentored by UQ and IISER Pune faculty an opportunity to address research problems of relevance to industrial applications as part of their projects. “This will provide students a deep understanding of the methods and procedures that relate to intellectual property and industrial research,” he said.

"An outstanding UQ workshop on India industry engagement, organised last year by UQ’s Research Engagement Manager Dr Alisa Becker, highlighted the breadth of interest across UQ.”, said Professor Middelberg. “Collaboration between UQ and IISER Pune opens new mutual opportunities for research and its translation at a scale not possible in Australia.”

The Centre will embed students, who are co-supervised by UQ and IISER academics, into industry in India. Almost immediately, the Centre expects to enable co-mentored IISER Masters students to engage full time with joint industry-linked projects in India. IISER is keen to attract postdoctoral staff from UQ to engage in industry-linked projects, and has a new postdoctoral fellowship scheme available with applications every 6 months.