IITB-Monash building a welcome addition

Official opening of the new IITB-Monash Research Academy building

Official opening of the new IITB-Monash Research Academy building

The opening of the new IITB-Monash Research Academy (“The Academy”) building by the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Education and Training took place last weekend.

The IITB-Monash Research Academy is a unique global PhD research partnership between Monash University and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay. The Academy delivers innovative solutions through collaborative, multi-disciplinary research projects across areas of strategic importance to industry and to Australian and Indian society.

Mr Pyne said that the IITB-Monash Research Academy is doing world-class collaborative research work that benefits both Australia and India. “The Australian Government values our strong education and research relationship with India. Research collaboration is essential because no single government or organisation can provide all the solutions to global challenges such as food, energy and water security or health,” Mr Pyne said.

Created in 2008 with initial bi-lateral funding from both Australian and Indian governments, The Academy saw for the first time an Australian university establishing an extensive commitment and presence in India in the research space.

Today, The Academy is globally recognised for delivering a leading joint venture research program that closely partners with multinational industry leaders across multiple sectors. The Academy has produced more than 300 extremely high-quality publications, four patents and 28 PhD graduates, with 170 students currently in the program. Students study in both India and Australia and graduate with a jointly badged degree. Graduates are increasingly in demand by industry and universities all over the world.

Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Mr Patrick Suckling,  who was present on the occasion congratulated IIT Bombay and Monash University on the opening of the building. “The IITB-Monash Research Academy joint venture is unique as it aims to train a new breed of talent that spans scientific, engineering and other disciplines. It is pleasing to hear that graduates get the skills to work with multi-national companies and Indian research and development establishments. This will help them contribute to India’s national innovation agenda,” Mr Suckling said.

At the opening of the new facility, President and Vice-Chancellor, Monash University, Professor Margaret Gardner AO said that the Academy’s success was not only in how it transverses national boundaries, but transverses boundaries to innovation.

“If we are to tackle the big issues – developing clean energy sources, ensuring clean water supplies to our growing cities, creating the next generation of infrastructure that will allow those cities to thrive – we must look beyond traditional boundaries. Not just those boundaries between nations, but the boundaries between academic disciplines and between government, private enterprise and academia,” Professor Gardner said.

“Both IITB and Monash were created to serve national priorities, to help people live healthier, more fulfilling lives in a sustainable, resilient and peaceful world. The Academy epitomises the pursuit of that purpose in building deep partnerships with organisations that have the national and international reach necessary to address major challenges and have impact across regions and populations,” Professor Gardner said.

Speaking at the event, Professor Khakhar, Director, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, said, " The IIT Bombay Monash University Research Academy is a unique India-Australia partnership in higher education and has grown to become the largest such joint degree PhD programme in the world. Students of the Academy are well prepared to work in the modern research ecosystem in which collaboration across borders is becoming essential to address the complex problems of the industry and society at large."

The CEO of the IITB-Monash Research Academy, Professor Murali Sastry, said the new facility was specifically designed to encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing.

"With the opening of the new state of the art facility, the Academy is poised to enter an exciting phase of growth. The building is supported by leading edge technologies and has capacity for 300 students, researchers and support staff.  The best and brightest PhD students from India come here to engage in cutting edge research that has real world industry focus and real world outcomes,” Professor Sastry said.

“It is appropriate to thank our industry partners whose vision has contributed to the extraordinary success of The Academy, including CSIRO, BHPB and Orica Mining Services in Australia, and Infosys, Reliance Industries, Jindal Steel Works,  SABIC, P&G, Intel, Thermax, Piramal Life Sciences, CISCO and Tata Consultancy Services in India.”

PhD students at the IITB-Monash Research Academy are co-supervised by IITB, Monash and industry mentors with over 30 placements across sectors to date including in COMSOL, India; Infosys, Amazon Labs, NEC Labs, Japan; Taiwan Semi-Conductor Ltd, Michelin, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, and various post-doctoral positions at leading universities around the world.