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Strengthening UK-India industry collaborations: UCL hosts UUKi high-level roundtable

Sophie Vinter13 July 2016

CII delegates talkingA delegation of ten top Indian CEOs met with UK higher education leaders to discuss future collaboration opportunities at a roundtable discussion hosted by UCL – part of an annual visit to the UK organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Universities UK International (UUKi).

Dame Nicola Brewer (UCL Vice-Provost International), Professor Marie Lall (Pro-Vice-Provost, South Asia) and Roger de Montfort (UCL Consulting Ltd) joined the discussions alongside university leaders from across the UK. The roundtable was chaired by Vivienne Stern, Director of the UK Higher Education International Unit.

The aim was to celebrate economic engagement between India and the UK and to highlight new business opportunities.

India is currently the third largest investor in the UK economy, reciprocated by the UK being India’s third largest foreign investor.

It also has the fastest growing GDP among large economies, supported by large-scale campaigns such as ‘Make in India‘ for manufacturing, ‘Smart Cities’ for urbanisation, ‘Clean Energy’ and ‘Digital India.’

Identifying new ways of working

Guests from UUK and CII in front of the PorticoDame Nicola spoke of UCL’s commitment to intensify its global engagement in the wake of the EU referendum and its continuing work with partners across the world to address global challenges.

The Indian CEOs expressed strong interest in strengthening their links with the UK.

Earlier this year Dame Nicola led a cross-institutional scoping visit to Pune, Mumbai and Delhi, with academics from four Faculties at UCL.

UCL academics are currently working on a number of exciting initiatives with partners in India, from improving water, sanitation and lighting provision in public toilets in Mumbai to combat gender-based violence, to using supercomputers to develop personalised medicine.

Building on potential

Lesley Hayman, UCL’s Head of Global Partnerships, said: “India is a vital partner for the UK and there is huge potential for UCL academics to share their expertise and work more closely with Indian industries in areas such as manufacturing, engineering, education and health to make a real difference to people’s lives.

“We are looking forward to visiting India again later this year to explore how we can further develop the ideas identified during the roundtable in the areas of research, capacity building and student experience.”

UCL to intensify its global and European engagement after EU Referendum result

Sophie Vinter24 June 2016

EU flagsStatement from UCL’s Vice-Provost International, Dame Nicola Brewer:

“UCL is a university that understands the power of disruptive thinking, the value of diverse opinions and the imperative of global engagement. We also study, and respect, the democratic process.

Understanding all the implications of the Referendum result is going to take some time. But two things I am sure about. Our response needs to be inclusive. And we will work harder than ever to implement UCL’s Global Engagement Strategy: London’s Global University will continue to work with partners across Europe and around the world to achieve fair solutions to global challenges.

We are thinking first of our many students and staff who come from other countries, and want to reassure them how much we value what they bring to our community. And we are thinking of our international partners, with whom we endeavour to co-create wise solutions to global problems. With the UK electorate’s vote to leave the EU, UCL’s engagement with European and global partners will intensify in order to compensate for the loss of that valuable network.

For our European students and staff in particular, the Provost has sent a message of reassurance about the immediate impact of the vote. We are working urgently to get clear answers from the government on future visa, fee and other policies, with and through Universities UK and the Russell Group.

We really appreciate the expressions of support and encouragement we have already started to get from UCL’s international partners.”

Image: © European Union 2013 – European Parliament

Collaborating in Chile: UCL hosts Chilean Guest of Government Event

Ciaran Moynihan31 May 2016

Roundtable Delegates take their places at the Chilean Guest of Government event at UCL in May 2016

Professor Michael Arthur, President and Provost of UCL, hosted a successful Chilean Guest of Government Event earlier this month.

The event provided an opportunity for the public to directly engage with project and programme leads from a range of companies, UK research funding agencies and UK universities, to explore the vast range of UK-Chile collaborations underway.

The event was held in conjunction with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Chilean Embassy London and the International Unit, Universities UK.

Guests included a high level Government of Chile Delegation, led by Heraldo Muñoz, Minister of Foreign Affairs. Professor Robin Grimes, Chief Scientific Advisor to the FCO and Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Chile, Fiona Clouder joined the Event on behalf of the British Government.

Mutually beneficial collaborations

Alberto Undurraga, Minister for Public Works visiting the UCL STEaPP Project with Dr Michele AcutoThe event began with a Project Showcase – the FCO’s first joint Newton-Prosperity Showcase displaying a range of UK-Chile initiatives that have been funded through the Newton-Picarte and Prosperity Funds.

This was followed by a roundtable discussion on education, science and innovation, focusing on how the UK and Chile can work more closely together in future.

Minister Muñoz welcomed the strong approach to partnership between UCL and Chile, which was outlined by Professor Michael Arthur in his welcome words at the roundtable. He highlighted the importance of such funding opportunities in developing mutually beneficial projects between the two countries.

The Minister stated that Chile’s upcoming removal from the DAC List of ODA Recipients must not result in an immediate removal of access to such funding sources and that the Chilean Government would be discussing this with key stakeholders over the coming months.

Supporting national priorities

Andrés Gómez-Lobo, Minister for Transportation and Telecommunications and UCL alumnus and Heraldo Muñoz, Minister for Foreign Affairs visit Jeremy BenthamMinister Muñoz and Minister Gómez-Lobo outlined a number of national priority areas, which they noted could benefit further from partnerships with UK institutions, including astronomy, energy, the use of satellite technology to prevent illegal fishing along Chile’s coast and city transport initiatives.

Professor Michael Arthur said: “It was wonderful for UCL to host this fantastic event with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Chilean Embassy London and the International Unit.

“The event highlighted the exciting range of projects that are already underway between UK and Chilean institutions and the scope for further partnerships. Chile is one of UCL’s priority countries for development of partnerships that can lead to the creation of wise solutions to global challenges – the commitment of the Chilean and British governments to supporting development of such links is inspiring and I hope will lead to further engagement between UCL and Chilean institutions in future”.

Building shared approaches

Her Majesty’s Ambassador Fiona Clouder added: “The event at UCL demonstrated the vibrancy of collaborations already underway between the UK and Chile. Since I began my posting in Chile, I have seen a strong increase in UK and Chilean universities working in partnership to address challenges that not only affect Chile but also the UK.

“I hope the discussions at UCL will add to the momentum already developing around building shared approaches to benefit both nations in the future.”

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