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18 April, 2012 - 09:39 By Tony Quested

Cambridge duo in UK-India ICT revolution


The University of Cambridge and Cambridge-based Toshiba Research Laboratories Europe are involved in the largest ever India-UK ICT research collaboration designed to revolutionise the delivery of a whole range of communications.

David Willetts, the Universities & Science Minister, today revealed that £10 million of new funding had been secured for the initiative, which employs 200 scientists in both countries.

He said the technologies the alliance unlocked could benefit millions of people.

Cambridge is at the heart of a nine-university consortium driving the project. Additionally, a group of major ICT companies in both countries will collaborate with the consortium on the research agenda with lead industrial partner BT Innovate and Design joined by Toshiba Research Laboratories Europe, the Cambridge Science Park based company, whose telecoms research hub in Bristol will have hands-on involvement.

In India there is direct engagement from companies such as Infosys, Wipro and Sasken together with SMEs.

The new investment will support the second phase of research into next generation telecoms networks - state-of-the-art platforms and applications that will carry voice, video and data in the future Internet.

This is a key part of the work of the India-UK Advanced Technology Centre (IU-ATC), a collaborative programme funded by the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Government of India’s Department of Science & Technology (DST) and industrial partners in both countries.

The funding will allow the centre to focus its efforts to develop low- cost solutions for rural access to broadband, improved use of available spectrum as well as applications for rural health monitoring, emergency and disaster communications, social TV-Virtual Classrooms and other services.

The ultimate aim of the IU-ATC is to develop solutions that can scale to benefit the lives of millions of users as well as the digital economies in both the UK and India.

Willetts says: “This £10 million investment will build on the UK’s excellent record of research collaboration with India. It will bring together leading universities and institutes from both countries to develop technological solutions to a range of important issues, from rural health to disaster response.”

Leading this major joint research initiative are the University of Ulster’s Chair in Telecommunications Engineering, Professor Gerard Parr in Northern Ireland and Professor Ashok Jhunjhunwala from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras.

The Universities of Cambridge, Ulster, Surrey, Lancaster, Bristol, St Andrews, Southampton, and two London institutions – Queen Mary, University of London, and University College London – are joined by seven Institutes of Technology in India in Madras, Delhi, Mumbai, Mandi, Kanpur, Hyderabad, and Bangalore.

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