IIT Gandhinagar, Elsevier organised a Research Connect Forum

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Palaj, Gandhinagar: Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) and Elsevier, a global information analytics company, organised a Research Connect Forum at the Institute today on the theme of ‘Research Collaboration and its Impact on Innovation and Economic Development’.

The one-day conference brought together more than 75 leading academicians, industry representatives and research administrators from the state and South Asia region to explore and deliberate on ways to promote research and research collaborations between academics and industry. Representatives from State Higher Education Council, Gujarat Council of Science & Technology (GUJCOST), leading universities, institutes, research organizations and Elsevier considered long-term research management efforts, strategies and best practices.

In his keynote address, Prof Sudhir Jain, Director, IITGN, emphasized the correlation between research collaboration, innovation and economic development: “In the 21st century, economic development will not be based on who has more minerals or natural resources, but on who will do more research, more innovation, who will build technologies and solutions. We as a country need to understand that to be independent in the true sense.”

“The next level in innovation is to actually solve problems. We must change our mindset to defining research not only as publishing, but also through which you actually make a difference in people’s lives. And, research cannot happen in isolation. The best of the institutes/ universities in the world work in collaboration. We need to share ideas, facilities, and resources for research, which helps academic institutions to grow our market and that is what IITGN does,” he added.

Dr Narottam Sahoo, Advisor & Member Secretary, Gujarat Council on Science & Technology (GUJCOST), introduced the participants to the Science, Technology & Innovation Policy of Gujarat and various opportunities for support from GUJCOST. “Under this policy, we have made a provision that every line department in the state government should imbibe the culture of research. One percent money from their annual budget should go to their internal research.” He encouraged faculty and researchers to come forward to submit their proposals in various areas of research, to innovate and develop technology solutions for common people’s problems.

Speaking on capitalizing on institutional data assets, Mr Adam Jia Kang Goh, Regional Manager, Pure (Elsevier) said, “There are four broad categories of data assets i.e. 1) talent, 2) research output and project metadata, 3) research data, and 4) infrastructure. Research data management trend is growing very fast worldwide because of increasing focus on data requirements.”

He also talked about the challenges of dealing with data storage and streamlining data systems. “We need to have clean, connected data as it serves as the foundation for capitalizing on the institution’s data assets,” he concluded.

Dr Anders Karlsson, Vice President of Global Strategic Networks at Elsevier, shared insights from a joint World Bank Elsevier report on research trends across South Asia. South Asia accounts for just 5.3% of the world’s scholarly output and India dominates with 88% of the output from the region. But the proportion of papers resulting from international collaborations within the South Asia region were just 0.15%, he said. “Greater academic and scientific collaboration between South Asian countries could increase the region’s scholarly output and enhance its global citation impact,” according to the report.

The forum discussed such topics as evolving expectations for universities, research collaboration, artificial intelligence in research and innovation, importance of research data in economic development & university rankings, strategies & practices to build a world-class research university, industry-academic collaboration, IPR in research and innovation, etc.

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