Fraunhofer IGB intensifies partnership in India
In March 2020, director of institute Dr. Markus Wolperdinger and Dr.-Ing. Marius Mohr, head of the innovation field "Water Technologies and Resource Recovery" at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB, will travel to India with the aim of intensifying international cooperation with Indian institutions and companies. Mohr and his team have already implemented several projects in major Indian cities and are currently involved in the "Global Smart Cities" project in Kochi in southern India. To further promote Indo-German cooperation in the water sector and other areas, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed during Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to India in autumn 2019.
India is a rapidly growing emerging economy. Although the positive developments are undisputed, however, the country also faces major challenges. In order to find solutions for these, application-oriented research is required. Against this background, Fraunhofer has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to strengthen cooperation between India and Germany in the fields of battery technologies, water management, production technologies and sustainable building technologies. IGB is particularly active in the field of water management. Here, IGB scientist Dr. Marius Mohr is leading the collaboration with the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) - one of the 38 institutes of the CSIR.
The MoU was signed as part of the 5th German-Indian intergovernmental consultations on November 1 − 2, 2019, in New Delhi, which was attended by a high-ranking delegation headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel and Research Minister Anja Karlicek.
The next step is already being planned: from March 2 to 5 2020, Mohr will travel to India together with Dr. Markus Wolperdinger, director of the institute. The first stop is the "International Business Summit" in Pune, where Wolperdinger will give a presentation on "Sustainable Processes for Global Business". The summit brings together policy makers and business leaders from around the world to discuss international business opportunities in agriculture and food processing, information technology, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, and alternative energy. Further stops on the trip are Mumbai and New Delhi. In Mumbai, Wolperdinger and Mohr will visit a number of companies, while in New Delhi, in addition to company visits, talks with the CSIR and GIZ India are planned.
Fraunhofer IGB can already look back on successful collaborations with Indian partners. In early 2019, IGB scientist Marc Beckett carried out a feasibility study in Solapur, Maharashtra, on behalf of Umwelttechnik Baden-Württemberg (UTBW). The study identified concrete needs and project ideas, including intelligent water quality monitoring for which a realization is currently being prepared.
Another example of cooperation is the "Smart Water Future India" project funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU), in which intelligent and sustainable water management strategies were developed for the southern Indian city of Coimbatore. Within the framework of this project, Mohr and Beckett, together with German and Indian experts, laid the foundations for developing urgently needed long-term solutions for demand-oriented water management in the region beyond the project.
Mohr currently heads one of the City Labs in Kochi, which are part of the Morgenstadt Global Smart Cities project. The aim of this activity is to develop transferable and at the same time financially viable roadmaps to reduce greenhouse gases, strengthen resilience to the consequences of climate change and improve the quality of life of the inhabitants. The City Labs with their scientific-analytical methods are the core of the Morgenstadt approach.
The "Memorandum of Understanding" that has now been signed is the next step towards a more permanent cooperation with an excellent scientific partner.