For Immediate Release
November 30, 2011
Contacts: Lee Tune, 301 405 4679 or email@example.com
Dr. Loh in India - Daily Updates
Highlights of UMD's week with Governor Martin O'Malley on his historic trade mission to India
HYDERABAD, India - On Day 1 of the Maryland mission to India, members of the University of Maryland team, which is led by President Wallace Loh, met with the heads of two major Indian universities to lay the groundwork for possible future collaborations to advance each institution's state and national goals.
The University of Maryland officials are part of the delegation of business leaders, elected officials and educators led by Governor Martin O'Malley that is on a six-day mission to India to open new avenues for two-way trade, investment and education with one of the world's fastest growing economies. India has initiated a strategic plan to dramatically increase its middle class, fueled in part through the expansion of its public higher education system.
"Governor O'Malley describes Maryland as the 'gateway to doing business in the U.S.,' and I am proud to call the University of Maryland the gateway to our state," says Loh. "The University has established significant faculty, research, and student ties with India and we want to leverage and greatly expand these connections to help our state create new economic ties with India and to transform UMD into a more globally connected university."
University of Maryland leaders visited the University of Hyderabad, one of India's top universities devoted to post-graduate education to meet with its Vice Chancellor (president) R. Ramaswamy. Separately, the UMD team, met with Vice Chancellor UB Desai of the Indian Institute of Technology -Hyderabad, which is one the country's 15 institutes of technology, all nationally recognized as important centers of excellence in higher education. In the Indian public higher education system, a vice-chancellor leads each university, providing strategic direction and leadership to the university, and representing the university regionally, nationally and internationally. The vice-chancellor is aided by the deans of the various schools in policy decisions.
Monday's talks continued discussions begun in October, when Ramaswamy and Desai were part of a delegation of Indian university vice chancellors who visited the University of Maryland and subsequently expressed an eagerness to explore development of new relationships between their institutions and Maryland's flagship university.
HYDERABAD, India - On its final day in Hyderabad, the University of Maryland team had breakfast with the highly active entrepreneurial network known as TIE, the Indus Entrepreneurs, as well as the All India Biotech Association. Talk focused on potential collaboration in biotech and the life sciences.
University officials say there are opportunities for research and educational collaboration that can benefit both Maryland and India economically, and build on existing relationships. UMD's International Incubator, based in College Park, assists Maryland companies that want to operate in India. Trade between the two is thriving - up 18 percent in the past year. India represents Maryland's 11th largest export market.
The Maryland team also met with officials at Hyderabad's world class Indian School of Business (ISB). Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business is seeking to operate a joint health information program with the ISB, focusing on affordable, accessible quality health care and public health information.
The team then headed to Mumbai to explore other potentially fruitful relationships.
MUMBAI, India - University of Maryland officials inked a collaboration agreement with the Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay (IIT-B) that sets general arrangements for the exchange of faculty and students for research, teaching and study, and also allows the two institutions to jointly compete for research grant opportunities, particularly in the area of global climate change and weather prediction technologies. The new agreement creates the first formal connection between UMD and the Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay, one of India's founding technological research institutions. It consistently ranks among India's top three science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) higher education institutions.
A Maryland-IIT-B team of researchers is already preparing to jointly bid for a $3 million climate/weather prediction grant from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This team is led on the UMD side by Professor Ragu Murtugudde of Maryland's Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center.
NEW DELHI, India - President Loh and the Maryland team accompanied the Governor to Delhi University (DU) to work on potential partnerships. Meeting with Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh, the university leaders signed an agreement creating a framework for joint projects and an exchange program between their institutions.
"We engaged in a very useful discussion of collaboration," says Jonathan Wilkenfeld, University of Maryland associate provost and associate vice president for international programs. "We laid out some plans for concrete projects in both research and teaching, and have been charged with coming up with a mutual plan in 45 days."
Delhi University is one of India's oldest, largest and most prestigious universities. Vice Chancellor Singh recently visited the University of Maryland, and was so impressed by its many compatibilities and synergies with DU that he immediately invited President Loh to pay a visit to Delhi University.
Higher education in India is now experiencing the kind of opening to the world that India's economy began to undergo starting in the late 1980s. U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signaled that opening with the 2009 launch of the 21st Century Knowledge Initiative, a grants program to build relationships between American and Indian institutions of higher education.
NEW DELHI, India - The trade mission focused on Maryland's innovative food safety training and research, as Governor O'Malley and the UMD team met with officials from the Agricultural and Processed Export Development Agency (APEDA) and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
The parties discussed collaboration designed to enhance trade in food products. The University of Maryland, along with the Waters Corporation and the Food and Drug Administration, launched the UMD International Food Safety Training Laboratory this fall, the first facility of its kind in the world. It brings foreign laboratory workers to College Park for unique training with U.S. regulators.
Later, the University of Maryland delegation toured The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India's premier think tank on energy research and related policy issues. TERI has an active research group on green buildings and wanted to learn about UMD's energy research, as well as its WaterShed House, which won the highly competitive U.S. Department of Energy's international Solar Decathlon 2011.
Indian builders have a keen interest in developing affordable, sustainable, energy-efficient homes adapted to the surrounding environment. WaterShed's award-winning design is inspired by the Chesapeake Bay and embodies twin goals of efficient, renewable energy, as well as water quality and conservation. The house balances time-tested best practices and advanced technological solutions to achieve high efficiency performance in an affordable manner.
UMD President Wallace Loh has described Watershed as "a model for how to live in harmony with the complex ecosystem of the largest estuary in the United States." The project, he adds, fulfills the mission of a 21st century Land Grant University by applying intellectual resources "to make a real-life impact" - in this case, "contributing to sustainability." The TERI team wants to see how WaterShed's principles might be adapted in an Indian context.
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