Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) and Deakin University, Australia, on Jan 8 announced the launch of ‘IIT Madras Deakin University Research Academy.’ The announcement was made during the Tamil Nadu Global Investors Meet at Chennai, Tamil Nadu, and was welcomed by Sarah Kirlew, Australian Consul General, Chennai.
The research academy will strive to create an ecosystem that not only fosters future talent but also encourages innovative research, supported by industry collaboration. This research will have the potential to influence policy and decision-making at bilateral and multilateral levels. Through collaborative global research projects, joint supervision and meritorious scholarships, this academy will nurture several highly talented graduate research scholars, representing SAARC and ASEAN countries, ready to address and solve pressing global challenges.
The research scholars will pioneer solutions through cutting-edge research in areas of strategic importance to Australia and India encompassing clean energy, critical technologies, sustainability, climate change, healthcare technologies and more, contributing to the socio-economic goals of both nations at a global level.
Addressing a Press Conference Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, said, “IIT Madras envisions integration of innovation, collaboration, and responsible practices to create a sustainable future for the generations to come. Through this academy, IIT Madras will partner with Deakin to build upon its technical and research expertise and environmental stewardship and social responsibility action plan to emerge as a leader for sustainability teaching and research in the global south. I look forward to the far-reaching positive outcomes that this academy is sure to generate.”
Speaking at the launch event, Prof. Iain Martin, Vice-Chancellor, Deakin University, said, “With the launch of the IITM Deakin University Research Academy, we shall further strengthen the synergy already achieved between our institutions by continuously exceeding excellence through collaborative research in areas of strategic importance. The academy will help leverage Deakin’s strengths of working with industry for optimum research and development in critical areas of smart and sustainable technologies.”
Building on over a decade-long collaboration between Deakin University and IIT Madras, the research academy will offer a four-year joint PhD program with high-value scholarships, joint supervision by esteemed faculty from both institutions and access to world-class research facilities and resources. The research academy will also provide for participation in an open innovation ecosystem and research network and the opportunity for collaboration with top industry partners in India and Australia.
The four-year joint PhD program is set to provide exceptional international doctoral training opportunities for early-stage researchers, with the allocation of 30 scholarships in 2024 to scholars from both IIT Madras and Deakin University as part of this dynamic partnership. Furthermore, the inclusion of provisions for post-doctoral fellows and academics to spend time at each other’s institutes promises to further enrich knowledge sharing and collaboration.
Commenting on this partnership between two premier institutions, Sarah Kirlew, Australian Consul General, Chennai, said, “Knowledge, education and research partnerships are a crucial pillar of the Australia-India relationship. We are proud that Australia has more collaborations with IIT Madras than it has with any other country. Deakin and IIT Madras have a longstanding partnership and we congratulate them on this significant next step which will generate further cutting-edge research in topics of crucial global importance, including clean energy solutions.”
The collaboration between Deakin University and IIT Madras, initiated in 2012, has flourished over the past years and has primarily revolved around mutual research interests in materials science and engineering.