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Vishakha Chandhere

Senior Adviser, UK Science & Innovation Network India

Part of Global Science and Innovation Network

3rd March 2015 Mumbai

EU tour to Pune – A glimpse of R&D base in India

Pune, also known as the Oxford of the East, is the educational and research hub of Western India. The European Union (EU) Delegation to India organised a regional tour to Pune from 16-18 February 2015. We (new SINner Karanpreet and veteran Vishakha) represented the British High Commission and participated in the stimulating deliberations over the three day visit. The delegation included science attaches from embassies of Hungary, Switzerland, France and Netherlands, two officers of European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC), two members of EU Delegation and one representative from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Denis Dambois and Vivek Dham from the EU Delegation to India were leading the delegation. An objective to visit nine institutes, both academic and industrial, over a period of three days seemed quite ambitious, but we made it!   SINOn day 1, we visited the renowned Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), a premier R&D organisation of the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY). Mr. Hemant Darbari and his team gave an informative presentation about the wide ranging activities at C-DAC. Next on our agenda was the Venture Center, the incubation spinoff of National Chemical Laboratory. Venture Center is a technology business incubator providing pre-incubation advice, infrastructural and scientific facility, virtual incubation and Lab2Mkt facilities to technology start-ups. Dr. Premnath, one of the founder directors and other team members took us around the facility and gave an overview of the incubator and its services. This was followed by a visit to the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA). We have blogged about the creative scientific facility at IUCAA earlier. The last destination of our visit for day 1 was the splendid Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER). IISER Pune is a young research institute with enviable infrastructure and impressive success stories. Rapidly flourishing under the leadership of Dr. K. N. Ganesh, IISER has raised the bar for fundamental science research in India. The next day began with the visit to the most significant research landmark in Pune – National Chemical Laboratory (NCL). NCL’s current focus areas are renewable energy materials, biowaste processing technology, fuel cells, pharma research, affordable packaging materials and clean water. Our next destination was the historic College of Engineering, Pune to see the Nawatech project being implemented by Ecosan Services Foundation. It is a waste water management project funded by FP7 under EU research calls. The last visit of the day was to Tata Research Development and Design Centre. This centre has four wings of research, i.e., life sciences, material engineering, software engineering and systems engineering. TRDDC is the first software research institute in Pune and also runs the co-innovation (COIN) network.

sin 2The last day of the tour began with the visit to the Auto Cluster Development and Research Institute. The purpose of the cluster is to facilitate MSMEs for product development, provide world class services and testing facilities to industry at reasonable cost. The last destination on our agenda was the Interactive Research School for Health Affairs at the Bharati Vidyapeeth University campus. The key research areas of IRSHA are mother and child health, breast and cervical cancer, herbal biotechnology and nutri-genetics.

By the end of the tour, we were amazed by the enormous research being carried out with such zeal and enthusiasm at the impressive facilities. We informed the institutes about the recently launched Newton-Bhabha programme particularly, the Innovate UK-GITA joint R&D call and other academia-industry collaboration projects to be launched in near future. Vivek from EU Delegation and Peter from the Hungarian embassy made the tour memorable with their hilarious anecdotes and one-liners. For more details, you may drop a line to either Karanpreet or Vishakha! This blog is co-authored by Karanpreet Kaur, Science & Innovation Adviser, Science & Innovation Network, British High Commission New Delhi

2 comments on “EU tour to Pune – A glimpse of R&D base in India

  1. Hi..
    Thank you vishakha. this is very good post and very nice information really this is very good article EU tour to Pune – A glimpse of R&D base in India . Again thank you for sharing this information..

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About Vishakha Chandhere

Vishakha is working with the Science and Innovative Network, UK. She is based in Mumbai and leads on Energy Storage and Medical Devices themes. She is an electrical engineer by…

Vishakha is working with the Science and Innovative Network, UK. She is based in Mumbai and leads on Energy Storage and Medical Devices themes. She is an electrical engineer by education and has worked in the renewable energy and climate sector earlier.

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