Deakin University has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Oil Corporation to conduct collaborative research into biofuels and bioenergy.
Researchers from Deakin will work with colleagues from the DBT-IOC Centre for Advanced Research on Energy, a strategic collaboration between Indian Oil Corporation and the Indian Government.
This centre is based at Indian Oil’s research and development hub in Faridabad, near New Delhi with an investment of more than 500 million Indian rupees over five years.
It will have PhD scholars, senior investigators and researchers from India and overseas and will focus on research towards developing second and third generation biofuels.
“The partnership between DBT - IOC Centre for Advanced Research on Bio-energy and Deakin University is a comprehensive research collaboration wherein researchers from both the organisations will undertake joint/ collaborative research programs and possibly apply for international funding of the research projects under the Australia India Strategic Research Fund and other similar schemes. The broad area for the research will be biofuels and bio energy,” said Dr R K Malhotra, Director (R&D) IOCL and the Head of the Centre.
Additionally two Indian student researchers will be jointly selected for undertaking research work and will be enrolled in the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) program at Deakin while being largely based at DBT - IOC Centre for the duration of the course.
“Supervisors from the Centre will provide day-to-day supervision and Deakin researchers will act as the Principal Supervisor for the project by extending support to the student and the team of supervisors at the centre," said
Dr D K Tuli, Executive Director for the Centre.
“During the course of the program, the candidates will spend up to six months at Deakin’s Australian campuses to undertake relevant research work under the direct supervision of the Australian supervisors.”
For Deakin University’s Professor Peter Hodgson the MoU is a further sign of the success of DIRI, the Deakin India Research Initiative.
“DIRI is an expansion of Deakin University's on-going development of research models which bridge the gap between academia and industry,” said Professor Hodgson, director of the University’s Institute for Frontier Materials.
“There are benefits for both countries from their involvement in DIRI. India gets the industry-ready PhD students it needs to meet the demands of its growing academy, while Australia has access to a host of potential new markets and opportunities.”
Current DIRI partners include Biocon, BigTec, VIMTA, Sankara Nethralaya - Eye Research Foundation, The Energy Research Institute and TATA Steel, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, and a number of the Indian Institute of Technologies and the National Institute of Technologies across India.