By Daniel Hunter

The growing strength of joint UK-India research was highlighted today (Thursday) by the announcement of 12 new collaborations in the areas of advanced manufacturing, smart energy grids and energy storage.

The new projects will be supported by £8.3 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through the Manufacturing and RCUK Energy Programme themes. This will be match-funded from India’s Department of Science and Technology (DST). There will be seven projects in advanced manufacturing and five in smart energy grids and energy storage.

Announcing the funding, during UK Trade & Investment’s India Business Day Conference at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham, David Willetts, the UK Minister for Universities and Science said: “Since 2008 the value of co-funded research between the UK and India has rocketed from £1 million to over £100 million. These projects will build on this already strong relationship, boosting collaboration between researchers and industry in advanced manufacturing and energy infrastructure. These are priority areas for both our countries.”

“We are on track to double our trade with India by 2015 and The India Business Day is a great showcase for UKTI’s commitment to supporting and encouraging a range of companies, both large and small, to do business there in the future.

“As we move towards greater use of low carbon energy generation, there will be significant differences in supply and demand patterns and management. Smart energy grids and energy storage are areas of significant potential for providing ways of managing future energy needs.”

UKTI has organised The India Business Day to demonstrate to Indian technology companies that the UK has world class R&D and innovation capabilities across all key technology sectors. A number of UK universities and technology companies are also taking part in the event.

Speaking from Delhi, Dr T Ramasami, Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Science and Technology added: “DST welcomes these additions to the growing portfolio of high quality research collaborations between the UK and India. These projects include some of the best researchers from the UK and India working alongside industry partners. We look forward to continuing collaboration with the UK in key strategic priorities such as these.”

The new research grants will involve over 30 industry partners from the UK and India contributing over £1m to the research projects. Partners include: Rolls-Royce, Bharat Heavy Electricals, E.ON, National Grid and Mott Macdonald.

The work of RCUK is supported in India by RCUK India, which is based at the British High Commission, New Delhi. It plays a key role in the facilitation of UK-India research opportunities.

The UK-India Advanced Manufacturing projects are:

- Improvements in Gas Turbine Performance via Novel Plasma Spray coatings offering Protection against ingested species — led by Prof T Clyne, University of Cambridge and Dr S Joshi, ARCI

- Engineering Driven Sustainability Supply Networks — led by Prof Sir Mike Gregory, University of Cambridge and Prof Harpreet Singh, IIT Ropar and Prof Samir Srivastava, IIM Lucknow

- Modelling of Advanced Materials for Simulation of Transformative Manufacturing Processes (MAST) — led by Prof V Siberschmidt, Loughborough University and Dr Pulak Mohan Pandey and Dr Sunil Jha, IIT Delhi

- Development of On-Line, High Temperature, Non-Destructive Measurement/ Sensing Techniques During Manufacturing of Power Plant Components — led by Prof Simon Dixon, University of Warwick and Prof Krishnan Balasubramanian, Dr Prabhu Rajagopal and Prof C.V. Krishnamurthy, IIT Madras

- High Deposition Rate Additive Manufacture of Complex Metal Parts (HiDepAM) — led by Prof S Williams, Cranfield University and Dr. K.P. Karunakaran, IIT Bombay

- Creation of a Process Understanding of Chromatographic Performance Loss During Biotherapeutic Manufacture — led by Dr Daniel Bracewell, UCL and Prof Anurag S. Rathore, IIT Delhi

High-Performance Spinning Disc Atomisation Process — led by Prof Y Shikhmurzaev, University of Birmingham and Dr Pankaj Doshi, NCL
The UK-India Smart Energy Grids and Energy Storage projects are:

- Reconfigurable Distribution Networks — led by Prof Tim Green and Dr Prabodh Bajpai, Prof Avinash Sinha and Prof Debaprasad Kastha, IIT Kharagpur

- Advanced Communication and Control for the Prevention of Blackouts (ACCEPT) — led by Prof Vladimir Terzija, University of Manchester and Dr Nilanjan Senroy, IIT Delhi

- Reliable and Efficient Systems for Community Energy Solution (RESCUES) — led by Dr B Pal, Imperial College and Dr Chandan Chakraborty, IIT Kharagpur

- High Energy and Power Density (HEAPD) Solutions to Large Energy Deficits — led by Prof F Li, University of Bath and Prof NP Padhy, IIT Rourkee

- Intelligent Microgrids with Appropriate Storage for Energy (IMASE) — led by Prof Gavin Walker, Nottingham and Dr Prakash C Ghosh, IIT Bombay

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