The Australian Technology Network (ATN), comprising five premier technical universities, is in the city to identify specific research areas for joint collaboration in new technologies with State and private universities.

David Wood, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Curtin University, has come to Chennai thrice in the past one year. “The university is looking for research partnership in the resources sector. MoU has already been signed with IIT-Kharagpur and we are looking at signing agreements with departments of mines,” he said in an interaction with media.

“There is a significant shift from teaching and learning to research in the past 15 years. About 40 per cent of the faculty of our university are now involved in research,” says Prof. Scott Sheppard, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Queensland University of Technology.

Impact of technology

“Apart from physical and chemical sciences, our university is keen to study the impact of technology in remote communities present in both India and Australia,” said Rob Greig, director, International Relations, University of South Australia. “We have to ensure these communities are not disadvantaged in comparison with people in cities,” he said adding that the university was keen on collaborative research on sustainable urban design.

“We are for developing key technology partnership with 15 universities around the world and four of them are in India,” said Bill Purcell, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Technology, Sydney. The university will enter into a new MoU with IIT-Madras soon.

Future plans

“The university is keen on human-centred engineering, especially in bio-medical engineering and devices,” he said. Moreover, the university was keen to send its students to India for projects in future, he added.

The 17-member team of ATN, led by chairperson Jeanette Hacket held discussions with State and private universities on Monday and will have discussions with research groups at IIT-M on Tuesday followed by a similar exercise with academic institutions in Bangalore.

Partnerships

“We are looking at finding research partnership. During the interaction, we try to find if the research here is globally ranked so that our globally ranked researchers could work with them in identified fields of technology like nano-technology, renewable energy, bio-medicine and in some areas in agriculture,” said Prof. Hacket.