International research cluster Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) is to strengthen its pioneering work on climate change, high-tech manufacturing and global healthcare by concluding a new agreement with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
The CII – representatives of which were in Birmingham today to talk to Birmingham City Council leader Mike Whitby on developing new business opportunities – works closely with the Indian government and industry on policy issues, enhancing efficiency, competitiveness and expanding business opportunities for industry.
The agreement is the latest in a series of developments marking the closer business ties that are developing between India and the West Midlands – illustrated in grand style last month with the acquisition of Jaguar Land Rover by Tata Motors.
CII has already been working with WMG on training issues and now it wants to progress the partnership to source new opportunities for research and development.
The two organisations are seeking to work in collaboration in a number of fields including, automotive, experimental engineering, robotics, e-security, sustainable materials, hybrids, digital manufacturing, rapid manufacturing and advanced materials.
Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, founder and director of WMG, said: “The governments of the UK and India recognise the importance of close collaboration of both countries in the field of science and technology.“
"There is exciting potential for joint research in many fields between us and, in particular, between WMG, Indian private and public research institutions and universities and the Indian private sector.
‘WMG has already been working with very big industries such as Tata and TVS Motors.” he said.
CII director general Chandrajit Banerjee, said: “Indian industries now have a major focus on innovation in order to become path-breakers in their respective fields.
‘‘There is also a growing need for IPR protection for Indian organisations.”
Mr Banerjee, heading the delegation involved in talks with Coun Whitby, said all economic powers needed to respond to the pressing need for new technology in order to meet the challenges of climate change and environmental damage, and India was no different.
“This link with WMG will give the Indian economy unsurpassed access to new technology in these key areas,” he added. Joining Mr Banerjee in today’s talks with the city council is Phiroz Vandrevala, executive director and head of global corporate affairs at Tata Consultancy Services.
Coun Whitby said: “Birmingham has a proud and rich tradition of innovation, especially around the automotive industry, so we are honoured to have Mr Vandrevala and members of the globally respected CII come to Birmingham to talk about strengthening our already growing business links.
“The CII is one of the most prestigious business organisations in the world, and this is the first time they have ever expanded their London-based CEO conference to visit another city.
"This is an excellent endorsement of the significance of Birmingham on the global stage”.
“As a city with greater global ambitions, we are very much looking forward to developing the relationship between India and Birmingham.
“This seminar will provide a real boost in forging even stronger links, especially within the automotive supply chain, manufacturing and the service industries.”