Three-day event paves the way for sustained collaborations on nanomaterials for electronics, photonics and biotechnology
Release date: May 18, 2022
BUFFALO, NY — Leaders from India’s top research universities are in western New York for a three-day materials science workshop at the University at Buffalo, focused on developing joint nanomaterials-related projects.
The UB-Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) UB-Indo workshop, which started Monday and ends today, focuses on the design, synthesis and data-driven discovery of nanomaterials for the electronics, photonics and biotechnology. Activities include presentations, strategy sessions, lab and facility tours and numerous networking opportunities.
During the workshop, UB and six Indian higher education institutes signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding, effective from May 17, 2022 to May 16, 2027.
According to the terms of the document, the institutes agreed to collaborate in areas of education and research “that are relevant to the academic, scientific, industrial, social and cultural interests and needs” of the countries concerned. These areas include, but are not limited to, “nanomaterials and nanotechnology, biotechnology, advanced sensors, photonics and cyber-physical systems, including artificial intelligence,” the agreement states.
“We look forward to forging what promises to be a very productive partnership with this distinguished group of scholars,” said UB President Satish K. Tripathi. “As our institutions share an unwavering commitment to the common good, this workshop serves as a springboard to collectively leverage our expertise to advance research toward a healthier and more sustainable future.”
“International collaboration in science and technology is crucial when it comes to addressing pressing global challenges,” says Venu Govindaraju, PhD, UB Vice President for Research and Economic Development . “This workshop brings together researchers from UB and India to articulate a vision of multidisciplinary international collaboration involving the design, fabrication and application of nanomaterials to address global health, energy and climate challenges. ‘environment.”
The aim is to identify specific opportunities for collaborative projects, joint grant proposals, publications and exchange opportunities for students and faculty between UB and leading Indian universities.
Guests include leaders and scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay; Indian Institute of Technology Delhi; Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur; Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur; Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) Varanasi; and Ashoka University.
Other participants include Dhananjay Tiwary, Science and Technology Counselor at the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC, and researchers from US federal agencies including the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Army Research and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Faculty members from UB’s College of Arts and Sciences, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences will also be in attendance.
“Advances in materials science are vital to healthcare, green energy, quantum technology and many other crucial sectors. This workshop is an opportunity to share scientific updates, identify common priorities, and develop joint projects that result in impactful research,” said workshop co-chair Paras Prasad, PhD, SUNY Professor Emeritus in the departments of Chemistry, Physics, Medicine and Electrical Engineering at UB. , and Executive Director of the Institute of Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics.
“IIT Delhi currently has several research projects with various faculties at UB,” says Workshop Co-Chair Ashok Ganguli, PhD, Deputy Director of IIT Delhi and Prof. NK Jha Chair Professor in the Department of Chemistry from IIT Delhi. “This meeting aims to broaden horizons with multiple partner institutions and explore other areas of partnerships in various fields, including nanotechnology, photonics, sensors and medicine. It would be a unique meeting where several senior officials from various IITs and UBs would be on the same platform.
The workshop organizing committee includes:
- Jonathan Bird, PhD, Chair and Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, UB;
- Sunil Khare, PhD, Institute Chair Professor and Dean (Research and Development), IIT Delhi;
- Krishna Rajan, ScD, SUNY Distinguished Professor, Erich Bloch Chair and Empire Innovation Professor, Department of Materials Design and Innovation, UB;
- Stanley Schwartz, MD, PhD, UB Emeritus Professor, Department of Medicine and Department of Pediatrics, UB;
- Ashutosh Sharma, PhD, Institute Chair Professor, IIT Kanpur; and
- Mark Swihart, SUNY Chairman and Emeritus Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, UB.
The event was organized with the support of the VAJRA (Visiting Advanced Joint Research) program of the Scientific and Technical Research Council of India and the Office of Research and Economic Development of UB.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for a group of top educational institutions to collaborate at the frontiers of science and technology. It’s a win-win situation that attracts new talent, with students from all sides engaging together in an intellectually rich and accomplished group of faculty,” says Santanu Chaudhury, PhD, Director of IIT Jodhpur. “Collaboration is fundamental to advancement, but it’s equally important that it’s not a discipline-specific endeavor. It is this multidisciplinary approach that is at the root of many of today’s scientific breakthroughs.
“This collaboration provides the catalyst needed to connect researchers who can deliver impactful solutions. The minds of everyone involved, including the students we bring into the loop, are the ones who can bring about these meaningful results. And students are an essential part of this process,” says Subhasis Chaudhuri, PhD, director of ITT Bombay. “Every university system needs its students to play the role of active participants. Researchers working today advance our current knowledge and understanding, but by involving students, we also help prepare future researchers who will continue the work we have begun.
Workshop topics include material design based on artificial intelligence and machine learning; photonics applications; synthesis and processing of nanomaterials; applications in (nano)electronics; applications in nanomedicine and biotechnology; and application to sensor technology.
LS Shashidhar, Dean of Research at Ashoka University, said, “It is an honor and a privilege for Ashoka to join this multi-institutional consortium of 5 Indian IITs and the University of Buffalo, to work in collaboration on multidisciplinary projects in the fields of energy, environment and health.
He adds, “Ashoka, India’s premier liberal arts research university, focuses on the innovative application of knowledge to solve various societal problems, especially those related to health and the environment. Ashoka is said to be active in promoting joint doctoral and student exchange and collaborative research programs with the University at Buffalo.
Abhay Karandikar, Director of IIT Kanpur, said the conference had “been quite productive”.
“We had research conferences where we discussed cutting-edge research in areas like nanomaterials,” he says. “It was productive because a lot of collaborative ideas emerged. If done, [Wednesday’s] the final discussion will further explore these areas of work on which researchers from other institutes and the University at Buffalo can collaborate.
Ganguli, co-chair of the workshop and deputy director of IIT Delhi, said the conference was “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”.
“It is a historic moment. I don’t think there has been an agreement for IITs between the five Indian institutions having a memorandum of understanding with an American university,” he says. “I think this is the first time this has happened. It brings together all our colleagues and researchers on the same platform. There may be researchers from two or three IITs who join UB on the same problem. It gives a much wider choice of research areas to work from. While there are similarities between the IITs, we each have our own strengths.”