Published: 07 March 2017

UK-India collaborative workshop addresses emerging socio-economic and environmental challenges in developing countries

The University of Surrey is proud to be working in collaboration with TERI University in New Delhi, India, to identify, understand and develop solutions to the socio-economic and environmental challenges faced by developing countries.

An international workshop, which took place at TERI University on 10 March 2017, saw UK and Indian delegates come together with the aim of improving overall quality of life in countries eligible for official development assistance (ODA), such as India, in both rural and urban settings.

Organised by Dr Prashant Kumar of the University of Surrey and local host Professor Suresh Jain of TERI University, the event focused on key areas such as environmental sustainability, socio-economic development, and the provision of clean air, water and energy.

The workshop provided a common platform for researchers and decision-makers from across the globe working in these areas to develop innovative solutions to these challenges. Participants included representatives from research projects iSCAPE, ASAP-Delhi and SMARTIES, the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) London, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), as well as environmental solution companies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Dr Prashant Kumar said: “This was an excellent opportunity to bring together experts and stakeholders through this joint workshop, which addressed important topics that form a key part of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals. I am thankful to the University of Surrey, as well as our Indian partners, for making the organisation of this workshop possible.”

Professor Suresh Jain from TERI University said: “This workshop provided a common platform for researchers, academia and industry partners to work together to bring interdisciplinary and sustainable solutions in the area of clean air, water and energy with a special emphasis on developing countries like India to improve hygiene and sanitation conditions, water and air quality, safety and security of citizens, quality of living standards, and social equity”.

Remarking on the workshop in the context of India’s own commitment to the sustainable Development Goals, Vice Chancellor of TERI University, Dr Leena Srivastava, highlighted the need for capacity building across the spectrum of stakeholders as essential for sustaining the successes that India achieves: “The ambitious goals and timelines that the world has agreed to can only be met through the forging of partnerships and collaborative efforts horizontally across stakeholders and vertically across scale”.

Professor Vince Emery, Senior Vice-President (Global Strategy and Engagement) at the University of Surrey, commented: "This is a very exciting workshop which contributes to building our relationships with India and addresses key global challenges in pollution and its impact on healthcare and sustainability in increasingly urbanised societies."

Mr Atti Emecz, Acting Vice Provost for Research and Innovation at the University of Surrey, commented: "Many of the environmental challenges facing the world can only be addressed effectively when highly talented researchers work together across disciplines and across countries. This workshop will do a great deal both to help stimulate ideas and to cement relationships and will no doubt lead to some exciting new UK-India collaborative research programmes."

The University of Surrey’s international outlook is driven by collaboration and strengthened by partnerships with universities and institutions across the globe. The University is proud to have worked with TERI University to deliver this workshop, which provided an important international platform for future collaborative research.

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