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27 November 2010
(NEW DELHI) Deakin University and TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute of India) today officially opened their new BioNanotechnology Research Centre.
The new centre, a focal point of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two organisations in Melbourne in April was officially opened by Deakin University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jane den Hollander, and the Director General of TERI, Dr Rajendra K. Pachauri.
It brings together Deakin University’s Institute for Technology Research and Innovation –(ITRI) expertise in the design and characterisation of novel nanomaterials and TERI’s Biotechnology and Management of Bioresource Division (BMDB) wealth of experience in biotech applications in pharmacology, food, agriculture and environmental areas.
The Centre, located at one of TERI’s facilities close to the Indira Gandhi International Airport, is a hub for the Deakin India Research Initiative (DIRI) launched last year. This initiative involves up to 50 PhD students located in Indian industries or with other research partners co-supervised by leading researchers in India and Australia.
Professor den Hollander said Alfred Deakin, Australia’s second Prime Minister after whom the university is named, recognised the possibilities of India and Australia working together nearly 120 years ago.
“It is pleasing for everyone at Deakin and ITRI to be involved in a partnership that not only fulfils his prophecies but which has mutual benefits for both nations,” she said.
“For Deakin to be partnered with such an organisation led by a man of Dr Pachauri’s standing is a significant compliment which we hope to repay with outcomes of excellence and usefulness to our respective communities.
“We also hope to use the agreement with TERI as a model for other partnerships.”
Dr Rajendra K. Pachauri said TERI was very enthusiastic about working closely with Deakin University.
“We value and welcome this opportunity for collaborative activities because not only does this hold enormous mutual promise and benefits for both the institutions but I think it will be of great significance to humanity as a whole,” he said.
"We know the interest of Deakin in India and we ourselves have a growing interest in Australia and this is a remarkable way of bringing our two societies and certainly our two institutions together.
"We are looking forward to this collaboration greatly and I am sure it will be a remarkable success."
Professor Peter Hodgson, Director of ITRI and Australian Laureate, said the partnership would result in a world class research centre linked to not only the high tech products and applications of the future but also to outcomes that would make a difference to India’s poor and Australia’s remote communities.
“For me this is the realisation of a personal goal to build a major research partnership in India that grows on Deakin’s strong commitment to a long term, broad based engagement with India,” Professor Hodgson said.
“It will deal with issues of food security in increasingly changing climates, remediation of polluted environments through natural products, improving health through novel molecules and improving the quality of life for poor communities.
“In short the new centre will make tangible differences to lives in both countries.”
Dr. Alok Adholeva, Director, Biotechnology and Bioresource, TERI said the relationship of TERI and Deakin University at this juncture was very timely.
“The Nano-biotech sphere has to play a pivotal role in application research and ultimately to deliver products and processes that are environmentally benign and efficient for mankind, specifically, in the health and food sector,” he said.
“The commitment and expertise of TERI and the equally important contribution by Deakin University will pave the way to achieve the desired goals.”
•To view a video on the new centre click here
•Nanotechnology involves the application and engineering of structures and materials of less than one ten thousandth of a mm (100 nm) to enhance performance and create new functionality across a wide range of sectors.
•Biological systems include natural nanostructures at the sub-cellular level that, with innovative nanotech techniques, can be modified and used in new applications such as targeted drug delivery, water filtration, biosensors or bio-inspired coatings.
•The new TERI-Deakin BioNanotechnology Research Centre will explore these and other applications in partnership with industries in both countries.
•Dr Pachauri was elected the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 1988 and re-elected in 2008. The IPCC along with former Vice President Al Gore was awarded the “Nobel Peace Prize” in 2007.
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