On March 14, 2019, IC-IMPACTS signed an affiliated network agreement with Simon Fraser University (SFU) that marks a new partnership to advance student and faculty collaborations between India and Canada. Dr. Nemy Banthia (above left), CEO and Scientific Director, IC-IMPACTS, and Dr. Joy Johnson (above right), Vice-President, Research and International, SFU, signed for each institution.
To honour the event, IC-IMPACTS hosted a dinner reception at Sage Bistro on UBC Vancouver campus and an evening of dialogue on strengthening Canada-India partnerships in innovation and trade. Distinguished guests included Mrs. Abhilasha Joshi, Consul General of India in Vancouver, Hon. Jinny Sims, Minister of Citizens’ Services in British Columbia and MLA for Surrey-Panorama, and Mr. Andrew Wilkinson, Leader of the Official Opposition and MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena.
Mr. Barj Dhahan, Board Chair, IC-IMPACTS, welcomed attendees and gave a passionate address about the future of Canada-India trade and the potential to harness the unique bilateral innovation partnerships IC-IMPACTS has built to enhance technology exports to India, a country slated to become the world’s third largest economy by 2030.
Dr. Nemy Banthia, welcomed attendees and SFU as a new and important partner in research and innovation, noting Dr. Joy Johnson’s leadership at SFU and ongoing collaborations with India.
“As the only Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence, IC-IMPACTS runs bilateral science and technology projects and generates discoveries that can be deployed and commercialized in Canadian and Indian markets,” he said. “Over six years, we have launched 60 projects and installed 17 technologies in Canada and India including several in Canadian First Nations communities.” Dr. Banthia discussed how the key to success of IC-IMPACTS is its ability to bring together the best minds in both India and Canada to tackle challenges that will bring about novel technology developments for commercial application. “We are increasingly focused on developing innovations that can be scaled up in Canadian and Indian markets.”
Mrs. Abilasha Joshi, Consul General of India in Vancouver, gave a keynote speech on Canada-India collaboration to promote bilateral trade. She noted past IC-IMPACTS initiatives such as creating seismic-resistant infrastructure and building roads using green technology as examples of projects that have had an impact on communities in both countries. She pointed out recent joint calls for proposals launched by IC-IMPACTS and Indian partners such as Creating Wealth from Waste and Developing Cyber-Physical Systems to Support Green Buildings in Smart Cities as indicators of IC-IMPACTS’ vision of collaborations between Canada and India.
Hon. Jinny Sims discussed expanding innovation and trade with India from the British Columbia perspective. She noted the importance of Canadians of Indian descent in BC and the critical role they play in communities across the province. She also mentioned the role of collaborations between Canada and India. “India is Canada’s fifth largest export market,” she said. “There is no way forward without collaboration.”
Mr. Andrew Wilkinson, Leader of the Official Opposition in BC and MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena, the riding in which the event took place, congratulated IC-IMPACTS and SFU on their new partnership. He commended IC-IMPACTS for its ongoing Canada-India research initiatives and its longevity. “We are all familiar with institutions that rise up for a couple of years, and then fall. IC-IMPACTS is different. It is now part of the fabric of our society. It is here to stay.”
Three past and current university students discussed their research and work connected with the IC-IMPACTS themes of integrated water management, safe and sustainable infrastructure and public health:
All photos courtesy of Martin Dee.