New Delhi: Aiming to strengthen its engagement with India, Cambridge University is looking to form high quality partnerships in the areas of drug discovery and disease management.
Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, who is on his second visit to India after taking over as Cambridge University vice-chancellor last October, is keen on cementing a long-term association with high quality players in India. In an interview with the news agency here, Borysiewicz said that partnerships are the key to Cambridge remaining a successful university.
Responding to a question on whether the university is looking for partnerships in India in any specific areas, he said, “We are particularly in discussions (with Indian entities) in the area of drug discovery... in cancer and in the area of infectious diseases.” “The university is also in discussions in the area of disease management,” Borysiewicz noted.
One of the oldest academic institutions in the world, Cambridge University is the alma mater of many famed Indian personalities, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen.
He pointed out the university is looking at some partnerships in the areas of drug discovery, apart from having interactions with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the department of biotechnology. “India has the very best in the world. The purpose behind the visit is to start establishing long-term partnerships,” he said.
At present, there are about 270 active projects between India and Cambridge.
Borysiewicz is the 345th vice-chancellor of Cambridge University and will complete one year in office on 1 October.
According to him, many issues such as food security and better management of chronic diseases are shared problems of India and the United Kingdom (UK). “So, finding shared solutions is going to be important, but the project model can’t give them the time that it takes to develop it. By establishing partnerships, which I am really interested in doing, we try to work together to find solutions,” Borysiewicz said.
To strengthen the ties between Cambridge and India, there are two groups - the Cambridge-India Partnership Advisory Group (CIPAG) and the Cambridge-India Partnership Operational Group (CIPOG). There are more than 1,000 Cambridge alumni in India and societies operate in six cities - Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune - according to the university’s website.