Rice and IISc in India to partner on research

Published 20/11/2023

Rice University in the US has signed a research and engagement strategy with the Indian Institute of Science that will focus on data science, energy and materials.

The institution in Houston, Texas, sees India as “a region of top priority”, leaders said, as the agreement was signed.

Earlier this year, Rice was one US school included in an Association of American Universities task force that has been seeking to expand partnerships with Indian counterparts.

Rice president Reginald DesRoches said that the strategic collaboration “opens new avenues for groundbreaking research and industry engagement”.

“As we deepen our ties with esteemed institutions like IISc, we look forward to a future of collaborative excellence, where the exchange of ideas knows no borders,” he said.

“Together, we aim to contribute significantly to the ever-evolving landscape of higher education and research, making a lasting impact on both our institutions and the world at large.”

Rice has an existing partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, India.

IIT Kanpur in turn said it would expand joint research efforts with NYU earlier this year, after president Biden’s trip to meet Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. That agreement will result in more research tie ups in critical research areas such as cybersecurity and AI, as well as “substantially expand” doctoral exchange programs and share teaching and research strategies.

The goal of Rice’s deal with IISc in Bangalore is to “promote cooperation in research, education, innovation and service to the community by working together on research where there is alignment of strategy and objectives”, according to Caroline Levander, vice president for global and Carlson Professor in the School of Humanities, said.

“We have many faculty who already have great connections to various institutions [in India]. As a country, it is in a position of real ambition and growth in higher education.”

“[India] is in a position of real ambition and growth in higher education”

US institutions are said to be looking elsewhere for collaborations as geopolitical tensions with China continue to limit collaboration and faculty exchanges.

Together with Imperial College London, IISc launched its second joint seed funding, which seeks to “drive high-impact and innovative research collaborations”, in September of this year.

The institutions have collaborated for decades, focusing on life and earth sciences, chemistry and engineering, among other initiatives.

In 2018, IISc was selected as an Institution of Eminence by the government of India.

The delegation from Rice that travelled to India to meet with IISc also visited Kolkata and Delhi during the trip.

“This collaboration is indicative of Rice’s commitment to creating strategic partnerships with highly regarded institutions around the globe,” Ramamoorthy Ramesh, executive vice president for research, said.

“By sharing resources with the IISc, our university is once again expanding its horizons to provide unmatched learning and research opportunities for students and faculty no matter where they are located.”

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