Led by Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander, a delegation from Deakin University recently visited India as part of a Victorian Government trade mission.
One highlight of the visit was the inauguration of the Nanobiotechnology Research Centre, a partnership between Deakin University and TERI, The Energy Research Institute in India.
The Honourable Louise Asher, MP and Minister for Innovation, Services & Small Business, Minister for Tourism and Major Events, along with Professor den Hollander and Dr RK Pachauri, Director General TERI formally inaugurated the centre, a new research lab facility set up to provide solutions towards a greener and more advanced use of nanotechnology for resolving challenging agricultural, biomedical and sustainability issues.
“This outstanding facility is the result of a dynamic partnership between The Energy and Resources Institute of India (TERI) and Victoria’s own Deakin University to augment research in the area of Nano Biotechnology, which will enable efficiency, effectiveness and provide solutions for a sustainable future," Louise Asher said.
Dr Pachauri highlited the importance of the TERI-Deakin partnership.
“Research at TERI seeks to find solutions to problems related to attaining sustainability and environmental degradation and has made a difference to the lives of many people," he said.
"The organisation’s commitment to these areas is a continuous process, and setting up the TERI-Deakin Nanobiotechnology Research Centre is one of the means through which, TERI plans to create capacity and expertise for technological solutions to problems of inefficient use of natural resources.”
Professor den Hollander said that the centre provided a hub for up to 50 PhD students who are undertaking research under the Deakin India Research Initiative (DIRI).
“What is particularly pleasing about this centre is that it is tackling research into global issues such as food security for a growing world population, sustainable agricultural practices and environmental sustainability,” she said.
“These are vital issues for humanity and it is extremely satisfying to think of the hugely positive implications of this research."
Dr Alok Adholeya, Director, Biotechnology and Management of Bioresource Division, TERI said the relationship of TERI and Deakin University is timely.
"The Nano-biotech sphere has to play a pivotal role in application research and ultimately to deliver products and processes those are highly environmental benign and efficient for mankind, specifically, in the health and food sector," he said.
"The commitment and expertise of TERI and equally important contribution committed by Deakin University would pave the way to achieve the desired goals.”
The new laboratory will be used to bring together Deakin University’s expertise in the design and characterisation of novel nanomaterials and TERI’s experience in biotech applications in food, agriculture, environment and pharmacology.
In 2010, TERI and Deakin University, Australia signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) announcing the setting up of the Nano Biotechnology Research Centre in the field of Nano Biotechnology in India.
The centre’s development was an outcome of TERI’s core capability of knowledge creation and development of efficient, environment friendly technologies and Deakin’s India Research Initiative (DIRI) which is committed towards establishing a lasting association with industry partners in India to chart a vibrant culture of research and scholastic excellence.
Some of the unique facilities available at the Centre are:
- Electron microscopy: scanning and transmission
- Advanced microscopy with Confocal Microscope, StereoZoom
- Advanced separation techniques: GC, HPLC
- Seed coating machines, rotary evaporator
- Spectral scanner
- Nanoparticle analyser
Deakin University also signed a numbef of MOUs with Indian research bodies and corporations as part of the visit (see related stories for more details.)