IIT Madras signs Research MoU with German Firm and University

Chennai: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has signed a tripartite agreement with Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen, a leading German High Voltage Technology firm and RWTH Aachen, a German University for carrying out Research in Power Engineering and to support Research in Sustainability, Electrical Grids and related fields.

 Under this Agreement, an MoU was signed by the German company and IITM for a second research project on Wednesday (1st November 2017) on the occasion of the inauguration of the New Premises of the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (ICGS) at IIT Madras.

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 Under the MoU, Maschinefabrik Reinhausen will be sponsoring a research project that will deal with the use of latest power semi-conductor devices for grid control.

 The ICGS was established at IIT Madras to promote cooperation between German and Indian scientists on fundamental and applied research, teaching and training besides in dissemination of information in the area of sustainable development. The New Premises is located at the Bhupat and Jyoti Mehta School of Biosciences, IIT Madras.

 It was inaugurated by Mr Achim Fabig, Honourable Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chennai in the presence of Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, and Prof Ernst Schmachtenberg Rector, RWTH Aachen University. The inaugural session was also attended by Dr. Akhilesh Gupta, Scientist G and Head SPLICE-Climate Change Programme, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India and Ms. Heike Mock, Director, DAAD, Regional Office, New Delhi.

 Speaking during the inaugural function, Mr. Achim Fabig said, “Questions of sustainability have become more and more pressing and important. The role of civil society has become even more important and centres like IGCS have a stronger role to play by coming up with solutions to the challenges being faced. I wish much success to this Centre and hope to see it brimming with activities led by students and researchers.”

 The IGCS provides opportunities for researchers and students to work in the core areas: Sustainable Energy, Land-Use, Waste and Water management and Climate Change Adapatation. The new premises will provide more space for interactions, Visiting Faculty and Staff. On this occasion, the IGCS also held a one-day symposium on sustainability with eminent speakers from India and Germany.

 According to Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, “It is good to have a proper physical space where people can brainstorm on issues of importance. The IGCS is poised to focus on additional aspects of sustainability, which are beyond the agenda of the Govt. The major focus area, of the Centre, for next five years will be issues of sustainability, survival, coastal area resilience and so on. The Centre has a wonderful future ahead and I hope it is able to come up with good work which is both useful and meaningful for both the Countries.”

 The ICGS was set up in 2010 with funding from both Germany, through the German Academic Exchange Program, DAAD, for exchange of scholars, and India through the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India) and IIT Madras for carrying out research. Its special focus is the protection of the environment considering water resources, energy, land use and rural development and waste management.

 Centre Coordinator of IGCS, Prof. B.S. Murty said, “This is an important step forward to intensify the activities under the Centre, which will now include Climate Change Adaptation as well related to coastal infrastructure. The new office spaces will lead to increased cooperation between Germany and India within the framework of the IGCS and participation of long term research Professors in the programme.”

 The Centre promotes the development of relevant ideas on and solutions to specific local issues, through interdisciplinary research and study projects in the above mentioned areas. The IGCS additionally contributes to the intensification of Indo-German cooperation in key academic fields through Summer and Winter schools for students and workshops and seminars on topics of relevance. The Centre also publishes a bimonthly Bulletin.

Prof Rafig Azzam, Centre Coordinator from RWTH Aachen, Germany, said “IGCS has attracted the attention not only of scientists and scientific organisations but also of the politicians of both countries for its extraordinary research. We can continue to strive to reach our mission and develop IGCS to a global Centre of Excellence for sustainability research.”

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