University of Leeds, IIT Madras to launch Joint Centre of Excellence in Sustainability

Chennai, June 26 (FN Agency) The University of Leeds, UK, and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a Joint Virtual Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Development (VCoE-SD). This network aims to deepen and expand the collaboration between the University of Leeds and IIT Madras, as well as strengthen existing connections between Leeds academics and other Indian universities working in sustainable development. The agreement represents a significant milestone in the partnership between these two prestigious institutions, aiming to advance knowledge and innovation in various critical fields. The MoU facilitates the development of collaborative research prospects and the organisation of joint academic activities, including courses, conferences, seminars, symposia, and lectures. Additionally, it promotes the exchange of research and teaching personnel, student placements and exchanges, and the sharing of publications and other materials of mutual interest.

British Deputy High Commissioner to Chennai, Oliver Ballhatche MBE, who witnessed the signing, commented, “It was an honour to witness the signing of the MoU between IIT Madras and the University of Leeds. This partnership showcases how academic and research partnerships between the UK and India can address global challenges and create sustainable solutions. As the University of Leeds celebrates 25 years of engagement in India, this MoU highlights the enduring commitment to fostering academic excellence and driving progress that benefits both our nations and the world at large.” Prof Vasilis Sarhosis, Chair in Resilient Structures and Infrastructure at the School of Civil Engineering, University of Leeds, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, “We are delighted to join forces with IIT Madras, a leader in technological and scientific research. This partnership underscores our commitment to fostering international collaboration and addressing some of the world’s most pressing issues through joint research and academic exchange.

Our intention is to develop a self-sustained network able to identify funding opportunities and encourage the collaboration of staff to perform high-quality and impactful research and innovation to tackle sustainable development goals. We strongly believe that the integrated and interlinked nature of the SDGs needs to inform and guide national planning strategy and policy. Our transformational vision will initially focus on the UK and India, with the view to extend it globally in the future.” Dr Satyanarayanan Seshadri, Advisor, Global Partnership at the Office of Global Engagement, Head, The Energy Consortium, IIT Madras, and a faculty member in the Department of Applied Mechanics and Biomedical Engineering, IIT Madras, remarked, “Leeds and IITM share a strong commitment to excellence in research and internationalisation. As a first initiative, a virtual collaborative group on various topics on sustainability is established. These faculty-led activities are expected to result in significant researcher mobility, joint Doctoral / Masters programmes and active participation in bi-lateral and multilateral funding opportunities for research and development.”