SFU builds on its relationships in Hong Kong and India

Simon Fraser University President Andrew Petter and VP Research Joy Johnson visited Hong Kong and India in February to build on the University’s existing relationships with academia and industry, and to explore further opportunities for research collaborations and exchanges.

Among the highlights were meetings with researchers from Hong Kong Baptist University to discuss collaborative research opportunities focused on the shifting and emerging cultural dynamics of the Transpacific region. During a visit to the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, partnership opportunities were explored in such areas as big data and fuel technology.

The visit also reaffirmed ties with a host of partners in India, including:

  • Indian Oil Company, with whom SFU is working to advance fuel cell technology, clean energy and advanced materials;
  • IIT Bombay, where further expanding of SFU’s partnership in areas such as medical technology and clean energy is being explored;
  • Bombay Stock Exchange Institute (BSEI), which hosted a celebration of the expansion to Zone Startups India, the Mumbai location of the BSEI-Ryerson-SFU Accelerator Program, an international tech incubator and accelerator to support entrepreneurs in India and Canada; and
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), where a research initiative focused on social justice and land use in India is being explored.

While in New Delhi, Petter provided a Canadian perspective on social responsibility in higher education at an international seminar hosted by the Society for Participatory Research in Asia.

Johnson adds, "The immediate and long-term benefits that accrue to SFU faculty and students from partnerships with world-leading institutions and companies are plentiful — from gaining a fresh perspective on our research challenges and testing the scale-ability of ideas and innovations to opening access to the resources and people that can advance our programs and aspirations. This is why we will continue to devote time and energy to pursuing opportunities for collaboration.”

More about key partner discussions in India

Indian Oil Company
Discussions focused on advancing research exchanges. SFU and Indian Oil Company have existing research and development exchange and PhD mobility agreements signed in 2014. Since then, two visiting scientists from IOC have spent time in Professor Erik Kjeang’s Fuel Cell Research lab in the School of Mechatronics Systems Engineering (MSE). 

Meanwhile, the first two PhD students are completing their work at SFU and will return this spring to IOC, where they will continue their work related to contamination in fuel cells. Two new PhD students, selected from a pool of 40 candidates, are set to work in Kjeang’s lab beginning May 2016.

In 2014, SFU and SF Univentures joined Ryerson University, Ryerson Futures Inc. and the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute (BSEI) to develop and launch an international tech business incubator and accelerator program, Zone Startups India. Its aim is to accelerate R&D in both countries while training entrepreneurs and developing startups for local and international markets. Discussions focused on the recent expansion of the facility and ways to continue to strengthen ties with SFU’s growing business accelerator VentureLabs®.

IIT Bombay
A trio of SFU Faculty of Applied Sciences (FAS) professors—Faisal Beg, Ash Parameswaran and Marinko Sarunic— are working with IIT Bombay’s Dr. Soumyo Mukherjee to develop low-cost public health technologies with a focus on malaria and TB detection.

“By building these relationships in Hong Kong and India, we are advancing SFU’s goal of engaging the world,” said Petter. “Growing these partnerships will expand opportunities for SFU researchers and students to collaborate and innovate on the international stage.”