The University of Nottingham has signed a memorandum of understanding with Panjab University, opening up new opportunities for collaborative research, new business ventures and economic investment in both Nottingham and India.
The memorandum of understanding was signed in New Delhi, by The University of Nottingham’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir David Greenway, and Panjab University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Arun Grover. The signing was attended by government delegates from India and the UK, as well as representatives from both universities.
The signing came about as a result of Panjab University’s visit to Nottingham last year. The new agreement secures a collaboration which includes increased student exchange programs, joint research activities and teaching partnerships between Nottingham and Panjab, India’s top ranked university.
The agreement between the two universities also supports the Newton-Bhabha Fund, which aims to bring together the UK and Indian scientific research and innovation sectors to find joint solutions to India’s economic and social challenges. This £50 million fund is part of the UK’s £375 million Newton Fund that supports science and innovation partnerships between the UK and emerging powers.
Speaking about the signing, Professor Sir David Greenaway said: “This represents the coming together of two renowned universities and we are looking forward to developing purposeful and collaborative research particularly under the strategic Newton-Bhabha Fund.
“Significantly we were also joined by representatives from Nottingham both from the Council and from business. This signing is part of a wider strategy to engage with Chandigarh in order to strengthen trade and investment with Nottingham, and this initiative will be strengthened through our work with Panjab University.”
During the visit, Sir David also met with Shri M. Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India with whom he had positive discussions about potential future collaborations with the country. In addition, the Vice Chancellor also hosted an alumni dinner for Indian student as well as offer holders – The University has one of the largest communities of Indian students among UK universities.
India is now the fifth largest investor in the UK and is currently showing growth rates of almost seven per cent, driven by domestic demand, fuelled by a rapidly growing middle class. Based upon the Indian economic growth forecasts, alignment of key sectors and connections Nottingham has with key partners in the Indian business community, the city is aiming to capitalise on opportunities in this market.
Chris Henning, Director of Economic Development at Nottingham City Council, said: “This level of co-operation will help to generate new technology, create new jobs in both communities and open up exciting possibilities for the future. In addition to increased collaboration, the memorandum will encourage research that sows the seeds for commercial opportunities, increasing the potential for contracts between Nottingham companies and their Panjabi counterparts.
“We’ve seen how these long-term academic relationships can bring inward investment, with the University’s links with Ningbo in China leading to the arrival in Nottingham of companies such as Romax Technology and Changan Auto Group’s Research and Development Centre.”
The collaboration between Nottingham city and Chandigarh region is part of the UK’s wider efforts for a sustained relationship with India. A major part of this is the India-UK Collaborative Industrial R&D Programme, which is open to Indian & UK based businesses as well as research & academic organisations working in collaboration with business partners.