A 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
Dame 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.”