India & Canada Contribute $3 Million to “Water for Health” Initiative

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and IC-IMPACTS Centres of Excellence, Canada, have partnered to create a joint “Water for Health” initiative, supporting collaborative research projects focused on developing and evaluating new technologies in the research areas of water and health.

DBT and IC-IMPACTS will each commit $1.5 million (Canadian dollars / equivalent Indian Rupees) to help strengthen innovative collaborations between researchers working in India and Canada, and to help stimulate practical research outcomes applied in communities of both nations.

Access to safe water is a significant issue around the world.  In 2013 the World Health Organization reported that 768 million people in the world, approximately one tenth of the world’s population, do not have access to safe water.  In Canada, more than five million people do not have access to a reliable source of clean drinking water and over 37.7 million people in India are affected by water-borne diseases due to contaminated drinking water.

“We are excited and thankful for the opportunity to launch this collaboration,” says Nemy Banthia, CEO and Scientific Director of IC-IMPACTS and a professor in the Faculty of Applied Science at UBC. “We hope that the program will lead to technological breakthroughs that will bring safe drinking water to millions.”

The Water for Health initiative is focused on improving water sources to better the overall health of a community.  Through this collaboration, IC-IMPACTS and DBT will specifically fund and advance research in the areas of (1) Monitoring water borne or water related diseases using mobile or networked health technologies; (2) Improving waste water treatment and reducing impacts on water quality; (3) Creating innovative water purification biotechnologies; (4) Identifying and remediating heavy metals from water sources using biosensors; and, (5) Creating sustainable waste-water infrastructure using biotechnologies.

Dedicated members at DBT and IC-IMPACTS have been working to create the Water for Health initiative since November 2013.  Through this partnership, DBT and IC-IMPACTS aim to help strengthen overall research and innovation relationships between Canada and India.  By funding collaborative research projects, research experts, industry leaders, and community members from both nations will come together to form practical solutions to greatly improve the health of both Canadian and Indian citizens.

More information regarding the Water for Health initiative can be found at Researchers are invited to submit proposals for research funding online at this website from May 1, 2014 to August 1, 2014.  Funding decisions will be made no later than December 1, 2014.

About Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) is one of the leading research organizations for biotechnology in India, and an important funding source for biotechnology.  DBT is mandated to promote large scale use of biotechnology and to support research, development and manufacturing in the biology industry.  DBT also promotes national and international collaborations with academia and industry, and provides supports research and development through the establishment of infrastructure facilities.

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About IC-IMPACTS Centres of Excellence

IC-IMPACTS (the India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability) is the first Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence established through the Canadian Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE).

IC-IMPACTS is a pan-Canadian Centre that brings together a large international team of researchers, industry innovators, community leaders, government agencies, and community organizations from India and Canada, to find solutions to the key challenges that affect the quality of life of millions of people in Indian and Canadian communities.
The Centre’s partner-community strategy supports rapid mobilization of new solutions to improve water quality, increase the safety and sustainability of critical civil infrastructure, and improve health across both nations.

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For further information please contact:

Nemy Banthia
CEO & Scientific Director, IC-IMPACTS
Tel: 604 822 9541
Email: [email protected]