Australia-India Partnership Takes a Giant Leap with IIT Madras Deakin University Research Academy

Anushree Sarda, INN/Chennai, @nushreeee

In a major stride towards advancing global research collaboration, Deakin University, Australia, and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) proudly announce the inauguration of the ‘IIT Madras Deakin University Research Academy.’ The launch event, held at the Tamil Nadu Global Investors Meet in Chennai, witnessed the convergence of distinguished personalities, including the Hon Philip Green, Australian High Commissioner to India, Catherine Callagher, Head of Austrade (South Asia), the Tamil Nadu State Minister, and renowned figures from academia, industry, and government of both nations.

Addressing a press conference, Ms Sarah Kirlew, Australian Consul General in Chennai, emphasized the critical role of knowledge, education, and research partnerships in fostering the Australia-India relationship. She highlighted Australia’s pride in having more collaborations with IIT Madras than any other country, underscoring the significance of the enduring partnership with Deakin University.

The four-year joint PhD program, a centrepiece of the academy, is poised to provide exceptional international doctoral training opportunities for early-stage researchers. The launch is marked by the allocation of 30 scholarships in 2024 to scholars from both IIT Madras and Deakin University, reflecting the commitment to nurturing highly talented graduate research scholars. The program will focus on areas of strategic importance, including clean energy solutions, critical technologies, sustainability, climate change, healthcare technologies, and more.

Ms. Kirlew explained that the research scholars will play a pioneering role in developing cutting-edge solutions through collaborative global research projects. The joint supervision and meritorious scholarships will draw scholars from SAARC and ASEAN countries, contributing to the socio-economic goals of Australia and India on a global scale.

Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director of IIT Madras, shared his vision for the academy, emphasizing the integration of innovation, collaboration, and responsible practices to create a sustainable future. He expressed anticipation for the positive outcomes that the academy is poised to generate, positioning IIT Madras as a leader in sustainability teaching and research in the global south.

Prof. Iain Martin, Vice-Chancellor of Deakin University, highlighted the academy’s role in strengthening the synergy between the institutions and furthering excellence through collaborative research in smart and sustainable technologies. The joint initiative is set to go beyond traditional boundaries, with provisions for post-doctoral fellows and academics to spend time at each other’s institutes, enriching knowledge sharing and collaboration.

The collaboration between Deakin University and IIT Madras, initiated in 2012, has evolved from faculty and student exchanges to the establishment of a research academy. This significant step underscores the transformative power of international collaboration in shaping a better-shared future for communities worldwide. As the academy takes flight, it not only stands as a testament to the enduring partnership between Australia and India but also marks a milestone in global research excellence.

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