January 12, 2007

Purdue looks to expand bridge to India, sign collaborative agreement with country's science and technology agency

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A delegation from Purdue University's Discovery Park will travel to India from Jan. 29 to Feb. 7 to meet with government, industry and university officials and sign a collaborative agreement with the country's Department of Science and Technology.

Charles Rutledge
Charles Rutledge, vice president for research at Purdue, will lead the contingent on the India trip, which will be highlighted by the signing of a research agreement with the Indian Department of Science and Technology on Feb. 5 in New Delhi. Discussions also will take place with the Indian Department of Biotechnology the same day.

Through the collaboration, Purdue and India's Department of Science and Technology will work to establish formal research collaborations and exchanges of researchers, students and faculty between Purdue and Indian institutions.

"We hope this visit and this agreement with the Indian government's leading science and technology agency will boost Purdue's visibility at the highest levels of India and at the grassroots level, where the seeds of cutting-edge university research are being planted," Rutledge said.

"Of Purdue's international enrollment, India provides Purdue with more students than any other country in the world. And by expanding the bridge between India and Purdue's Discovery Park, we look to become a preferred U.S. institution for research collaborations with India."

Alan H. Rebar
Joining Rutledge are Alan H. Rebar, executive director of Discovery Park; Pankaj Sharma, assistant director of Discovery Park; and Jay P. Gore, interim director of Discovery Park's Energy Center and Purdue's Vincent P. Reilly Professor of Mechanical Engineering and associate dean of the College of Engineering.

During the weeklong visit, the Purdue contingent also will meet with academic and political leaders in the research areas of nanotechnology, entrepreneurship, energy, life sciences, information technology, health care, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and the environment, Rutledge said.

Jay P. Gore
Meetings also are planned with officials at several research facilities in India, including the Indian Institute of Science, Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research, Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Tata Energy Research Institute, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Indian Institute of Technology in new Delhi, Indian Institute of Information Technology in Allahabad, and Indian School of Business, an institution in Hyderabad that focuses on entrepreneurial education.

In addition, Purdue officials will meet with top executives at Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd. in Hyderabad, Infosys Technologies Ltd. in Bangalore, and Satyam Computer Services Ltd. in Hyderabad.

Pankaj Sharma
Sharma, who moved to the United States 24 years ago from India, said such trips will help foster academic, industrial and political relationships that will spark Indiana's economy and create jobs in the United States.

"Purdue and states like Indiana must look to form stronger educational and business relationships with countries like India to flourish in a global economy," Sharma said. "We must build global pipelines for the innovations developed in our laboratories that can then be transferred to the marketplace where a skilled work force developed in our classrooms can help keep the U.S. economy competitive."

Many of the economic and cultural challenges facing India today align closely with Discovery Park, Purdue's $330 million interdisciplinary complex tackling challenges in areas ranging from alternative energy and health-care delivery to nanotechnology and cyberinfrastructure, Sharma said.

He said the Purdue contingent also will update Indian research and university leaders about the success of Discovery Park, its interdisciplinary focus on research, and how it has created jobs and helped launch 16 businesses, most of which are now located at the Purdue Research Park.

Sharma noted that officials in the northern Indian region of Amethi announced plans to open a 60-acre Discovery Park research complex, modeled after Purdue's Discovery Park with a focus on health, education and agribusiness.

India was the second-fastest growing major economy in the world, with a gross domestic product growth rate of 8.1 percent for the first fiscal quarter of 2005–06.

"With a middle class of 300 million people fascinated with buying American-made products, India, as the world's largest democracy, is poised to eclipse Japan and China as Asia's fastest growing economy by 2010," Rebar said. "We believe Discovery Park is ideally suited to help Purdue expand and collaborate with institutions, governmental agencies, researchers and industries in countries such as India."

Purdue ranks second among all public institutions in international enrollment, and is third in the nation among all institutions, according to the Institute of International Education.

Of the 4,831 international students enrolled at Purdue in the current academic year, there are 1,021 students from India, followed by China (782), South Korea (680), Taiwan (222) and Indonesia (221). Purdue also has more than 85 faculty of Indian origin, mostly in engineering, management and science.

U.S. businesses now invest $3.8 billion annually in Indian companies, or 17 percent of all investments in India, the U.S. State Department reports. The United States also is India's largest trading partner, with exports and imports between the two nations amounting to $27.1 billion a year.

Indiana companies exported more than $90 million worth of goods to India during 2004, up 127 percent since 2001, the Global Business Information Network at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University reports. India is the 22nd largest export market for the Hoosier state, behind leaders Canada, Mexico and China.

Gore said Purdue has many longstanding ties with India through corporate partners, such as GE Global Research, whose Jack Welch Research Center in Bangalore has funded a project in chemical engineering. Cummins sponsors student and faculty exchanges with the Cummins College of Engineering for Women in Pune and the India Institute of Technology-Bombay in Mumbai.

"As economic neighbors and trade partners in a flat world, we know that India faces many of the same challenges in the areas of energy, science and technology that we face in this nation," Gore said. "The expansion of this partnership to India's primary government research agency will benefit both of us as we travel this challenging world together."

In January 2006, Purdue Provost Sally Mason led a group of university officials who spent a week in India. While there, Purdue and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai signed a five-year agreement to foster collaborations in life sciences fields between Indian scientists and Purdue researchers from the Bindley Bioscience Center at Discovery Park.

In December 2005, Purdue signed another agreement as part of the Indo-U.S. Inter-university Collaborative Initiative in Higher Education and Research that included 19 other universities — from Harvard, Yale and the University of Texas at Austin in the United States to the Indian Space Research Organization, Department of Science and Technology, India, and Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University in India. That agreement also included Microsoft India.

Purdue President Martin C. Jischke visited India in November 2004 to meet with government and university officials to discuss what classes Purdue could offer in engineering, pharmacy and management to better prepare potential employees for the global marketplace. That visit resulted in a similar exchange agreement between Purdue and the Indian Institute of Technology.

Members of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce in Mumbai, India, spent nearly two weeks in the United States last spring, meeting with Purdue as well as government and economic development officials in Indiana, Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The contingent also toured Discovery Park and the Purdue Research Park. Writer: Phillip Fiorini, (765) 496-3133, (765) 427-3009, pfiorini@purdue.edu

Sources: Charles O. Rutledge, (765) 494-6209, chipr@purdue.edu

Pankaj Sharma, (765) 496-7452, sharma@purdue.edu

Alan H. Rebar, (765) 496-6625, rebar@purdue.edu

Jay P. Gore, (765) 494-2122, gore@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

Note to Journalists: Media representatives who need more information about this news release can contact Phillip Fiorini, Purdue News Service, at (765) 496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu

Related Web sites:
Purdue University: http://www.purdue.edu/

Discovery Park: http://purdue.edu/discoverypark

Purdue Energy Center: http://discoverypark.purdue.edu/wps/portal/Energy

Purdue Research Park: http://www.purdueresearchpark.com/

India Department of Science and Technology: http://dst.gov.in/

 

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