Led by five US university leaders, the initiative was created in coordination with the government’s U.S.-India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology, which the Biden administration is hoping will form ties between the two countries in technological and industrial collaboration.
“It is nearly impossible in today’s world to make advancements in scientific research and technology without international collaboration and cooperation,” said AAU president Barbara R. Snyder.
“This is why the Association of American Universities is proud to lead this effort to strengthen relationships between leading US and Indian research universities and to lay the groundwork for shared future scientific and economic success.”
Pennsylvania State University president, Neeli Bendapudi, is one of the five chairs. Among the interdisciplinary partnerships that are hoped to be strengthened include in semiconductor technology innovation, nuclear energy, unmanned vehicles, space exploration, AI, and digital infrastructure.
“Achieving peace and prosperity through the development of resilient, critical, and emerging technologies is a shared strategic imperative for the national security of the two largest democracies in the world,” Bendapudi said.
“Our participation reflects the valuable role Penn State plays in American higher education, and I look forward to bringing our research and academic expertise to the forefront to support this impactful collaboration.”
Solutions for 21st century challenges will “require innovations, inventions, and ideas on a scale and at a speed that has never been seen in our history”, added co-chair and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign chancellor Robert J. Jones.
“This new initiative is going to build academic partnerships that cross national and political boundaries”
“This new initiative is going to build academic partnerships that cross national and political boundaries and build research collaborations that will harness the intellectual power of the greatest universities of our two nations,” the chancellor said.
“The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has been an active, visible, and proud partner with universities and organisations in India for more than 75 years,” he added.
The University of California San Diego has recently launched 21st Century India Center, which chancellor Pradeep Khosla described as “an interdisciplinary, world-class think tank and hub for scholarly research, education, and public engagement, focuses on facilitating dialogue, advancing collaboration between our great nations”
“[It will] support sustainable growth that can help provide important insights to the work of this task force,” Khosla added.
“I look forward to working closely with my esteemed colleagues to bridge cultural and technological gaps, anticipate emerging opportunities and challenges, and facilitate collaborative relationships in service of the greater good of our increasingly connected global society.”
University at Buffalo president Satish K. Tripathi and Johns Hopkins University provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs Sunil Kumar, who is joining Tufts University as president in July are also co-chairs.
The task force features a further 15 members, including Heidi Arola, director of global partnerships and director of the Purdue-India partnership at Purdue University, Ravi V. Bellamkonda, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Emory University, Richard Lester, associate provost for international activities at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, along with colleagues from UCI and Rice.