Cambridge and India
Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh announced on 3 February, at the 101st Indian Science Congress, that Prof Azim Surani (Director of Germline and Epigenomics Research , Gurdon Institute) had been awarded the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship, which allows eminent foreign scientists to work in India for 12 months over a 3 year period. Prof Surani will work for the Fellowship period at the Institute for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine (inStem) in Bangalore.
A seminar series on "Education in India: A Multidisciplinary Exploration" will be launched by the Centre for Commonwealth Education at Faculty of Education this term, coinciding with the appointment of Dr Pauline Rose as the new Professor of International Education at the Faculty. The first talk will be delivered by Dr Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes from the Centre for South Asian Studies on "Visual methods of teaching South Asian history", and the second by Dr Sriya Iyer from the Faculty of Education on the "Economics of religion in India".
An joint application for funding under the Thematic Partnerships strand put forward by Dr Shailaja Fennell at the Department of Land Economy and collaborators at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras to UGC-UKIERI has been successful. The project will aim to understand how bottlenecks that limit Internet access for rural agricultural production and community based tourism can be removed.
Prof Sharon Peacock, Professor of Clinical Microbiology at the Department of Medicine, organized a three-day workshop on infectious disease at the Indian Institute of Science, in partnership with the St John's Research Institute, Bangalore. The workshop, which was funded by the India-UK Scientific Seminar award and attended by Prof Duncan Maskell, Head of the School of Biological Sciences, is expected to help initiate a number of longer-term research links between the three partner institutions.
Dr Vince Cable, the UK's Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, announced the winner of the Bioinnovation competition launched by the Science & Innovation Network in partnership with the Bangalore-Cambridge Innovation Network. The winners, Jubilant Biosys and Metaome Science Informatics Ltd, were judged to be Bangalore's most innovative biotech companies looking to expand internationally, and will visit Cambridge for 2 weeks in March 2014. They will be hosted by ideaSpace.
Prof Harry Bhadeshia, Tata Steel Professor of Metallurgy at the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, delivered the opening lecture at the 67th annual technical meeting of the Indian Institute of Metals at the Benares Hindu University (BHU) on 12 November.
Cambridge University Press India and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore announced a new collaboration which will publish a series of new academic titles as part of the Cambridge IISc Series. The books will be written by eminent academicians, researchers and subject experts in science, technology and engineering. A total of 15 academic titles will be published over a span of three years, all focusing on advanced research in diverse areas of science and technology. As well as this initiative to co-publish books with the IISc, the Bangalore-Cambridge Innovation Network (BCIN), an association of similar-interest groups within academia and industry is also working to build closer links between academics, businesses, researchers and entrepreneurs from both cities.
The Speaker of the Lower House of the Parliament of India, Mrs Meira Kumar, visited Cambridge on 10 October 2013. In this visit, which was in response to an invitation to visit from the Vice-Chancellor whom she met in Delhi last year and again last month, she met with a number of leading Cambridge academics in a lunch hosted at Clare College by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for International Strategy. She then met with the Vice-Chancellor before ending her visit by delivering a lecture to a packed hall at the Sidgwick site on 'Parliamentary Democracy in India'.
The first publication of the joint work of Dr Andreas Bender at the Department of Chemistry, together with Dr Basappa at the University of Bangalore and Prof Rangappa at the University of Mysore as well as further collaborators, has just appeared in MedChemComm, a medicinal chemistry journal by the Royal Society of Chemistry. The groups were collaborating on inhibitors of the STAT3 pathway, which is upregulated in many cancers such a hepatocellular carcinoma, and which represents a novel possible approach to cancer therapy.
The Vice-Chancellor made a two-week visit to India in September, accompanied by a senior Cambridge delegation. He visited New Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai with the overarching objectives of taking Cambridge's engagement with India to a new level, and enhancing the University's profile and opportunities for partnership with Indian academia, business, and government.
The Bangalore Cambridge Innovation Network (BCIN) and AcceleratorIndia announced a new collaboration to drive UK-India cross-border commercial engagement. RiffStream#Bangalore-II – Digital innovations in Healthcare and Biotech was a specific event kicked off on 17 September as part of the BCIN. RiffStream#Bangalore-II focused on innovations in Healthcare facilitated by mobile, digital, telecoms and computing technologies, leading to new devices, technologies and processes to do more with less to increase treatment efficacy. Prior to this, on 16 September, the Vice-Chancellor had discussions with UK Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude MP at a business networking event in Bangalore organised by UKTI, and launched the Bioinnovation Prize. The prize is funded by the UK government, the winners of which will be hosted in Cambridge by IdeaSpace.
Dr Helen Mason from the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP) visited Prof Durgesh Tripathi, a solar astronomer at the Pune-based Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA). Dr Mason has collaborated with Prof Tripathi for over eight years studying the behaviour of the sun using data from various space missions and how it affects Earth. As part of the collaboration, Dr Mason delivered a talk to IUCAA students on "Our Dynamic Sun" on 19 September.
Dr Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes, Research Fellow and Affiliate Lecturer at the Centre of South Asian Studies, visited the Azim Premji University in Bangalore between 16-20 September where she organized the 'Teaching South Asian History with Visual Research Methods' workshop series for South Asian teachers and teacher educators.
Dr Andreas Bender, Lecturer at the Unilever Centre for Molecular Informatics at the Department of Chemistry, visited the School of Pharmay and Technology Management at the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) in Mumbai, the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) Pune, the Institute for Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology (IBAB) Bangalore and the Universities of Bangalore and Mysore for both teaching drug discovery classes, and establishing and deepening existing research collaborations, funded by the Cambridge-Hamied Visiting Lectureship Programme.
Mr Sam Pitroda, Adviser to the Prime Minister of India on Public Information, Infrastructure & Innovations, visited Cambridge on 10 July. At the Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBC), he delivered a thought-provoking lecture on "Role of Innovation and Information Infrastructure for Inclusive Growth" to a packed to capacity hall. He then met with Professor Christoph Loch (Director of CJBS), Professor Jaideep Prabhu (Jawaharlal Nehru Professor of Indian Business & Enterprise and Director of the Centre for India & Global Business), and Dr Shailendra Vyakarnam (Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning) before he visited Cambridge Enterprise. There he with Dr Tony Raven (CEO) and Shirley Jamieson (Head of Marketing), and was presented with a Raspberry Pi computer by Jack Lang (Co-Founder and Chair of the Raspberry Pi Foundation). Mr Pitroda finally met with the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, where they discussed the University's longstanding relationship with India, particularly in the areas of science education and innovation.
Professor Christoph Loch, Director, Cambridge Judge Business School, and Professor Jaideep Prabhu (Jawaharlal Nehru Professor of Indian Business & Enterprise and Director of the Centre for India & Global Business) visited Delhi on 4-5 April for an executive education session on Leadership and Strategic Thinking Programme for a group of senior Indian civil servants from the Indian Administrative Service.
The Jesus College choir visited Mumbai and Goa in March 2013 where they worked with disadvantaged communities bringing music to children living in slums in the city.
Prof CNR Rao, Head of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Prime Minister of India, and a team of distinguished delegates visited Cambridge to attend an EPSRC-funded workshop on Advanced Materials for Energy, held at St John's College on 21-22 March. The workshop was part of a collaboration between teams in Cambridge (led by Prof Sir Richard Friend), JNCASR and IISc in Bangalore.
The Vice-Chancellor made a two-day visit to India as part of the largest ever UK trade delegation led by a British Prime Minister. The Vice-Chancellor announced that "We look forward to building on the relations established on the visit to further enhance our existing Cambridge-India partnership".
On 31 January 2013, Professor Robert Glen (Unilever Centre for Molecular Science Informatics, Department of Chemistry) delivered an invited lecture at the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Chemical Research Society of India's joint symposium at the Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi.
Professor Sir Mike Gregory, Head of The Institute for Manufacturing, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award at the Society of Management's annual conference held at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. The conference had a special track on food supply chains, which are the focus of a joint project between IfM and the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Lucknow.
As part of the Vice-Chancellor's visit to India, two major events took place aimed at strengthening Cambridge's long-standing ties with India and developing them for the twenty-first century.
On Monday 10 September 2012 the India-Cambridge Summit, India in the Global Age, took place at the Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi. Panels considered the future of the university, India's response to the contemporary global economic crisis, Delhi's century as India's captial city, social policy and development, art and cultural politics and ideas of Indian democracy.
The Vice-Chancellor also attended the meeting of the Bangalore-Cambridge Innovation Network, which took place at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, on 13 September 2012. The theme of the event was Science, Innovation and Entrepreneurship and it included discussions of frugal innovation, cleantech, life science, entrepreneurship, commercialisation and intellectual property and corporate innovation.
2012 marks the third year in which the Cambridge Hamied Visiting Lectures Scheme, supported by generous donations from Dr Yusuf Hamied, has operated. The scheme supports professorial and senior level visits both to India by Cambridge academics and to Cambridge by Indian academics.
The first award announced for 2012 will support activity in India by Professor Sharon Peacock (Department of Medicine). Professor Peacock's visit, scheduled for October 2012, will build on her existing work with Dr Chiranjay Mukhopadhyay, Professor of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Karnataka, as part of a collaborative consortium to map the bacterium responsible for melioidosis and produce a risk map for India. The visit will advance this work through a series of interactive seminars designed to provide practical training in environmental sampling methodology. This will allow the generation of preliminary data for a risk map for meliodosis across southern India and Professor Peacock will also provide assistance in the writing of the first review of meliodosis in India.
A future award will enable Dr Andreas Bender (Unilever Centre for Molecular Science Informatics, Department of Chemistry) to visit India. Dr Bender will build on his existing links in India through a series of trips that will enable him to deliver lectures, further a number of new collaborations and undertake joint research projects. The award will allow Dr Bender to visit established research contacts including Professor Nagasuma Chandra (IISc), Dr Muthukumarasamy Karthikeyan (NCL Pune), Dr Tushar Chakraborty (Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow), and Professor Prasad Bharatam (NIPER).
Senior academics, from India or Cambridge, interested in applying to the scheme are encouraged to do so using the application form found here.
A team headed by Professor Sir Richard Friend (Department of Physics) has won funding from the EPSRC for a project of 12 months' duration to develop and extend research collaboration between Cambridge and Bangalore in the areas of materials for energy and sustainable manufacturing. Both Cambridge and Bangalore have broad strengths in the underpinning basic science, and both are working to bring early-stage science rapidly through to engineering and to translation to manufacturing. The global objective of this project is to develop together structures that allow the essential 'bottom up' basic science to be placed within an institution-wide context, and to enable new coordinated research between the two institutions.
Five research projects will be built off some of the current one-on-one links between researchers in Cambridge and in Bangalore (the JNCASR and the IISc) in the general area of materials for energy and sustainable manufacturing. All projects will have significant exchange of researchers from UK to India and vice versa at various career levels. These interactions will be strengthened and broadened through the networking events and workshops in both countries. The five projects involve researchers at the Departments of Physics, Materials Science and Engineering in Cambridge, and cover the following topics: (a) Advanced Optoelectronics Materials Development, (b) Nanostructured Metal-Organic Frameworks, (c) Polythiophene-based Photovoltaics, (d) The optimisation of lightweight structural parts, based on mechanical tests in-situ inside a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), and (e) Sustainable Materials Processing of Strategic Metals.