The Indian Institute of Technology in Gandhinagar Feb. 9 announced it has launched the Dr. Kiran C. Patel Centre for Sustainable Development with the hope of becoming the principal resource center for sustainable development in India.

The center, established thanks to a gift from Florida-based Indian

American cardiologist Kiran C. Patel, promises to advance local and global solutions through cutting-edge interdisciplinary research.

Inaugurated on Jan. 30, the center will develop a national and global network of leading experts and researchers on sustainability and undertake research on water, pollution, waste management, energy, natural resources and climate change.

It will research sustainability and related challenges of high societal importance and promote cost-effective and sustainable solutions through its strong outreach and technology-transfer programs, according to a news release.

The center will undertake technology transfer of sustainable solutions to NGOs, local governments and industry and collaborate with policy makers and industry to identify and solve sustainability challenges. It will also promote startups on sustainability with IITGN’s Entrepreneurship Cell by providing Seed Grants, the release added.

“The single major challenge facing the next generation will be lack of clean air, natural resources and non-toxic environment,” Patel said during the center’s inauguration, according to the release.

“It is imperative that IITs of the world develop the intellectual capital to create a sustainable planet earth that can ensure the well-being of ten plus billion people residing in this world in the coming decades,” the cardiologist added.

“Dr. Patel’s exceptional generosity for an institution with which he has no earlier connection touches us deeply and inspires us greatly,” IIT Gandhinagar director Sudhir K. Jain said. “The gift will enable our faculty and students to work on developing practical solutions to major sustainability challenges through an integration of advanced research, traditional knowledge and field understanding.”

The IIT Gandhinagar campus is the first campus in India to receive the 5-star GRIHA LD rating for its ecofriendly and sustainable design. The IITGN campus is considered a “living laboratory” on sustainability, according to the news release.

The center will strive to address major sustainability challenges and translate them into prototypes, patents, and publications. It will also establish an effective technology-transfer program for sustainability solutions in the field and promote networking and collaboration among scholars, policy makers, industry, non-profit organizations and other stakeholders on sustainability, it said.

Additionally, the center will also support research on sustainability at IIT Gandhinagar, and identify, prioritize and lead sustainability related thrust areas. It will explore and promote collaboration opportunities, catalyze research proposals on sustainability on campus and develop vibrant visiting faculty and student research programs, the release added.

It will also undertake outreach and advocacy initiatives. It will coordinate training programs and workshops on sustainable development for professionals in industry, NGOs, and public officials and promote sustainable solutions in the public and private sphere, disseminate conceptual and practical knowledge, training materials and create awareness on sustainability, it said.

The center’s faculties have collaborations with colleagues at Columbia University, Purdue University, the United Nations Development Program, United Nations Environment Program, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, Royal University of Bhutan and Sonnen, Germany, among many others.

The center offers summer research internships open to students nationwide on various sustainability themes every year, it said.

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