The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras is partnering with Australian Universities to launch the "Australia-India Centre for Energy" to work on UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to officials, the AICE aims to promote collaboration among universities, research institutes, and industries from both countries in the energy domain. The virtual Centre will be launched during the two-day Energy Summit 2022 hosted by IIT Madras in December.
IIT Madras and Deakin University in Australia are taking the lead in coordinating and driving the engagement amongst the partners and with external stakeholders, to grow collaborations between government departments, funding agencies, and individual researchers in both countries.
Raghunathan Rengaswamy, Marti Mannariah Gurunath Institute Chair Professor and Dean (Global Engagement), explained that all partners will have an equal footing and the Australian Trade and Investment Commission will be a catalyst to foster partnerships with industry in the sector from both countries to the Centre.
"The Centre will bring together multi-disciplinary capabilities from Australian and Indian partners to work on translational research and build capabilities to address the global energy challenge," said K Baskaran, Pro Vice-Chancellor of International Research Partnerships, Deakin University, Australia.
"It will also be a catalyst to develop partnerships with other centres in South Asia and ASEAN regions to develop innovative and sustainable solutions for the Global challenges," Baskaran said.
The key mission of the Centre will be to enable deep collaborations between Australia and India in the energy sector through transformative research, technology development, and deployment.
The AICE will aim to become a leading bilateral platform on SDG 7 and other related SDGs for academics, industries, and government agencies to engage in science, technology, economics, policy, and governance.
Sarah Kirlew, Australian Consul-General for South India, said, “Australia and India are comprehensive strategic partners, with close cooperation across areas of strategic importance, including critical minerals, clean technology, education and innovation. Our two countries are home to world-leading innovators and researchers".
According to IIT Madras officials, the immediate focus of the AICE will be to develop joint educational programmes, online MTech courses, and capacity building through certification programmes and diplomas, extension centers, and training.
"The founding members of the AICE will work on joint problem statements, use mobility grants, and develop joint proposals for bilateral funding support," a senior official said.
"The Centre will work to promote seamless research and development by identifying sister labs, where complementary research potential and infrastructure exist and facilitate the movement of research scholars, faculty, Young International Fellows (YIF) and Global Research Fellows (GRF)," the official said.