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DTU delivers sustainable solutions to India

Energy Environment and pollution
Four Danish-Indian research projects focus on climate-friendly solutions.

Four new projects conducted by DTU in collaboration with Indian researchers are to create sustainable and climate-friendly solutions to major energy and water challenges.

One project focuses on ensuring clean water with biosensors, another on producing inexpensive green electricity with an intelligent electricity grid. In a third project, the researchers will create more sustainable recycling of wastewater, and—finally—work will be done to collect wind and solar energy in a new climate-neutral power station.

Behind the investments is Innovation Fund Denmark, which—in collaboration with the Department of Biotechnology and the Department of Science and Technology in India—has invested approx. EUR 2,7 million (DKK 20 million) in a total of five projects aimed at the development of sustainable water and energy solutions. Four out of the five projects will be implemented by researchers at DTU.

“With these projects, DTU can contribute to solving some of India’s environmental challenges,” says Philip Binning, Senior Vice President, Dean of Graduate Studies and International Affairs.

“India is facing major challenges in relation to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These include growing urbanization, increased pollution, large quantities of waste, and big wastewater problems. There’s a great need to improve living conditions for millions of people and to combat climate change.”

Danish-Indian collaboration
The research projects are an offshoot of a historical research agreement which former Danish Minister for Higher Education and Science Tommy Ahlers and his Indian minister colleague entered into in 2018. The agreement aims to initiate research and innovation projects in the field of water and energy amounting to EUR 4,0 million (DKK 30 million).

The solutions will be used in a country with a rapidly growing middle class and a gross domestic product with a high growth rate, where—at the same time—many people do not have access to basic services such as electricity.

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Extended collaboration with India

In the past six years, the Henning Holck Larsen Foundation/Novozymes and DTU have collaborated on exchange of students and researchers between Denmark and India. Until 2021, EUR 188,000 (DKK 1.4 million) has been allocated each year to sending students and researchers from DTU on stays in India. Here, they can either participate in courses, conduct research, or do an internship. DTU students must be at Bachelor’s and Master’s degree level. The agreement also applies to PhD students, postdocs, and senior researchers in biotechnology and bioinformatics.

In 2019, DTU has formalized its collaboration with the Indian elite universities Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, IIT Bombay, and IIT Madras.