The 8th Annual IC-IMPACTS Research Conference was held online on August 6th and 7th, 2020. Due to COVID-19, the entire conference took place over Zoom.
The event featured highlights from IC-IMPACTS research projects across Canada and India and intersections from the Centre’s three core themes: Safe and Sustainable Infrastructure, Integrated Water Management, and Public Health.
Day one of the conference started with a welcome address from Mr. Barj Dhanan, Chairman of the Board of IC-IMPACTS, followed by an opening address from Mr. Ajay Bisaria, High Commissioner of India to Canada. The High Commissioner was impressed with IC-IMPACTS existence and emphasized the importance of the Canada-India program in driving Canada-India collaboration.
Day one also featured speakers from our partner universities; Prof. Santa Ono, President, UBC, expressed UBC’s continued support for IC-IMPACTS, and his congratulations on 63 bilateral research projects, 352 multi-national corporate partners, 274 researchers, over 1,100 publications, and the over 1,000 HQP trained. Prof. Angela Brooks-Wilson, Associate Vice-President, Research, SFU, and Prof. Michael Masson, Acting Associate Vice-President Research, UVic were also present to speak about their respective universities relationship with the centre.
Representatives from funding agencies were also present, with remarks from Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, India, Prof. Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, India, and Prof. Alejandro Adem, President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Both DBT and DST representatives expressed immense pleasure with the extraordinary successes of the Centre, reiterating their continued commitment to our collaborations. Dr. Renu Swarup commented that through collaborative programs such as IC-IMPACTS can we make huge changes, and emphasized the importance of having commercialization programs and demo projects to bring clean technologies to communities.
IC-IMPACTS Theme Leads, Dr. Nemy Banthia (infrastructure), Dr. Damase Khasa (water), and Dr. Stewart Aitchison (health) gave overviews on projects in their respective areas. The day concluded with a roundtable discussion: Future of IC-IMPACTS, beyond NCE.
Day two of the conference began with an introduction to IC-IMPACTS student-led activities, presented by Mr. Timir Baran Roy, President of the Student Engagement Committee; the SEC-hosted Three Minute Thesis competition followed, featuring ten short presentations with the top three awarded prizes. IC-IMPACTS also had a session on Commercialization and Knowledge Translation of IC-IMPACTS Research and Technology Deployments, followed by some concluding remarks by Mr. Barj Dhahan, and a SEC Keynote: Modelling Influence of Upstream Wastewater Discharges on Drinking Water Treatment Facilities with Dr. Paul Westerhoff, Arizona State University.
The 2020 Research Conference was a great success, and IC-IMPACTS sincerely thanks all attendees for their participation and patience as we moved online during this unprecedented time. After a number of presentations on current research projects and important dialogue on the implementation of technologies in Canada and India, IC-IMPACTS looks forward to continuing to support the deployment of technologies and finding new ways to commercialize innovations in both countries.
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