IIT Madras, Melbourne’s Swinburne University co-create Joint Research Centre with focus on IoT-based farming solutions

With a specific focus to explore and create joint startups through active engagement between incubation eco-systems, two premier institutions have come together to establish a Joint Research Centre.

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras has collaborated with Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, with an intention to establish a Joint Research Centre for creation of Enterprise Eco-Systems (C2E2). The institutes will combine their respective expertise in emerging science and technologies to expand research capacity and capability.

The Joint Research Centre would provide opportunities to share research facilities, enable collaboration among researchers for projects and papers, joint supervision of doctoral level research students and develop joint government and industry partnerships in India, Australia and also internationally.

Speaking about the importance of this collaboration, Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said, “IIT Madras values its Joint PhD program with Swinburne University, which is flourishing well. The Joint Research Centre with Swinburne is another step towards enhancing our collaboration and involving industry in transformative research that has impact across the world. The visit by the Swinburne delegation led by the Chancellor paves the way for taking our partnership to the next level.”

The International Research Collaboration Agreement was signed last week by Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras and Graham Goldsmith, Chancellor, Swinburne University of Technology.

The Centre has been sanctioned a funding of USD 300,000 for a three-year period, shared equally between the two institutions. It aims to have socio-economic impact for both the countries through delivering high value research and build strong complementary relationship through access to the partner research facilities and team. It will also engage new industry partners from both countries and government bodies.

The C2E2 will be led by Joint Research Centre Co-Chairs appointed by both institutes to lead strategic planning and development. The focus areas will be:

Advanced Manufacturing and Materials,

Socio-economic uplift including ‘Smart Cities’,

Human Centric Design Platform including Smart Farming,

Medical Devices,

AI and Decision Sciences including IoT,

Biotechnology, and

Mathematics,

The center is looking at least three new major industry partnerships with major industries such as Mahindra and Mahindra and Tata Group. It also aims to deliver at least 15 partner PhD students enrolled over a three-year period and have more than 30 joint publications in the same period. At least ten proposals are envisaged to be submitted to funding agencies such as Australian Research Council (ARC), Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF), Australia-India EMCR Fellowships and Indo-Australian Career Boosting Gold Fellowships (IACBGF-Fellowships).

Speaking exclusively to the VoicenData bureau, Prof Mahesh Panchagnula, Dean (International and Alumni Affairs), IIT Madras, said, “The overarching vision for the Center is to enable joint research in a wide range of emerging areas. IoT is one of the focus areas of the Center. Swinburne holds strengths in agricultural engineering and farming. Hence, IoT applied to farming could emerge as an area of research in the future. Both the institutions will strive to create a quality ecosystem under which startups will thrive. It is anticipated that impactful translational research will form the core of the research programs under the Center.”

Graham Goldsmith, Chancellor, Swinburne University of Technology, shared his comments, stating, “Swinburne was the first Australian university to have a joint PhD program with IIT Madras and we currently have several students enrolled. The new Joint Research Centre will assist in enhancing and scaling up our relationship, creating real-life social and economic impact and benefits for both our countries.”

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