IIT Hyderabad Proposes a major boost to ‘FRIENDSHIP’ project with JICA in Phase II

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Hyderabad: Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad is looking to give a major boost to its partnership with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Phase II of their collaboration. The Institute is proposing an increased collaboration with the Japanese Industry and Academia besides research laboratories. Major emphasis is being placed on exchange of Ph.D. students, Joint Masters and Ph.D. programs.

IIT Hyderabad is seeking to build a long-term sustainable collaboration with Japan. JICA is a governmental agency that coordinates Official Development Assistance for the government of Japan.

Recently, JICA Officials have made a visit to the IIT Hyderabad campus for the terminal evaluation of the FRIENDSHIP project of IITH with JICA, which is ending in March 2020. JICA officials are extremely happy with the outcome of the project.

The collaboration between IIT Hyderabad and Japan started in August 2007 based on the commitment between the Prime Ministers of India and Japan. A Project for Future Researchers at IIT Hyderabad to Enhance Network Development with Scholarship of Japan (FRIENDSHIP) was initiated by JICA in July 2010.

The FRIENDSHIP program involved JICA support for student and faculty exchanges and collaborative projects between IIT-H and Japanese universities and industry. JICA had dispatched a total of 5 long-term experts to coordinate the Project.

Speaking about the impact of the collaborations with JICA and Japanese industry and academia, Prof B.S. Murty, Director, IIT Hyderabad, said, “As is evident through the numerous patents, publications, faculty, student exchanges and projects, the outcomes of the Phase I of the JICA Friendship Program are quite rewarding. As the current FRIENDSHIP project is ending soon, we are enthusiastically looking forward to the sanction of Phase II of the FRIENDSHIP project so that we can continue to have this remarkable collaboration & take it to the greater heights for the mutual benefit of both Japan and India.”

IIT Hyderabad received significant assistance for research in five areas, namely, Next Generation Communication Technologies (NGCT), Design and Manufacturing (DM), Sustainable Development (SD), Environment and Energy (EE), and Nano Technology and Nano Science (NTNC). JICA has also supported the construction of buildings and the procurement of equipment necessary for high-end research.

Some of the highlights of the JICA FRIENDSHIP project include:

Ø IIT Hyderabad Researchers have applied for 51 patents under the project.

Ø Under Collaboration Kickstarter Program (CKP), Seven research projects were selected and about Rs. 2.67 crore disbursed so far.

Ø 116 IIT-H students received the FRIENDSHIP scholarship to study in 14 universities of Japan.

Ø 88 IIT-H graduates have obtained various positions at a Japanese academic institutions or industry besides this program.

Ø The project has resulted in signing of 56 MOUs between IIT-H and Japanese universities, research labs and industries.

Ø 138 applicants were granted the FRIENDSHIP scholarship (Master and doctoral students). 153 IITH faculty members/researchers and more than 190 IITH students visited Japan to establish the network with Japanese academic institutions and industries.

In addition, as many as 72 joint publications have come out due to the collaboration between IIT Hyderabad and Japanese universities, often in high impact journals. A total of 498 faculty members and students have participated in interactive academic activities and 68 lectures have been delivered at IIT Hyderabad by Japanese researchers.

Seven international symposia/conferences were jointly held by IIT Hyderabad and Japanese partners. IIT Hyderabad and Japanese academic institutions jointly applied for 59 research funds, among which 9 have already been sanctioned.

A total of 119 Japanese faculty members/researchers and 36 Japanese students have visited IIT Hyderabad to interact with researchers here. JICA also support programs for IIT-H graduates before/during the study in Japan.

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