UK-India research tie-up paves road to cleaner transport
The University of Birmingham has signed an agreement with the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) to identify joint research interests in the fields of air quality management, alternative fuels, power train and electric vehicle technology.Courtesy: Getty Images

UK-India research tie-up paves road to cleaner transport

A new agreement between the University of Birmingham and India’s Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) will find ways to create impactful transport and environmental research networks for the future.

The University of Birmingham has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) based in Pune to identify joint research interests in the fields of air quality management, alternative fuels, power train and electric vehicle technology.

The partnership will see British and Indian air pollution experts working together to create a blueprint to tackle the challenge of particulate emissions in India, looking to develop and deliver solutions identified in the plan.

Dr Reji Mathai, ARAI Director, said: “ARAI is happy to be associated with University of Birmingham for promoting joint research in upcoming areas such as alternative fuels, e-mobility and air quality.”

Licypriya Kangujam (C), a 9-year-old climate activist, stages a protest against air pollution in New Delhi. The UK university and its Indian partners also plan to support the development of education programmes that will help produce future transport leaders and world-leading research.
Licypriya Kangujam (C), a 9-year-old climate activist, stages a protest against air pollution in New Delhi. The UK university and its Indian partners also plan to support the development of education programmes that will help produce future transport leaders and world-leading research.Courtesy: Getty Images

Impact and coherence

The agreement was signed recently between N.B. Dhande, Senior Deputy Director for Business Development & Corporate Planning at ARAI, and Professor Tim Jones, Provost at the University of Birmingham.

Prof. Jones said: “Signing this MoU further strengthens our commitment to India and, through this partnership, we are pleased to contribute to the development of impactful transport and environmental research.

“The University of Birmingham has a number of significant partnerships in India, underpinned by its India Institute which aims to increase the visibility, impact and coherence of Birmingham’s engagement in the country.”

World-leading research

Together, the UK university and its Indian partners also plan to support the development of education programmes that will help produce future transport leaders and world-leading research.

“The UK wants to be at the cutting edge of green and EV-transport systems and we see a real opportunity to partner with India on this critical agenda – including through this new agreement between the University of Birmingham and ARAI,” said Alan Gemmell, UK Trade Commissioner for South Asia and British Deputy High Commissioner for Western India, who was instrumental in bringing the two organisations together for the MoU.

“Last month COP26 President Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP visited India to strengthen our partnership on climate change in advance of the summit in Glasgow this year. The UK was the first major economy to commit to cut emissions to net zero by 2050,” he said.

Collaborative research

The Vehicle and Engine Technology Research Centre at Birmingham University’s School of Mechanical Engineering claims to have a world-leading research profile in combustion engines and low-carbon vehicle technology. It works closely with UK industry in engine architecture and advanced engine technologies, helping to design the engines and fuels for the future; including hybrid powertrains.

ARAI, India’s leading automotive research and development institute set up by the automotive industry with the government of India, is an autonomous body affiliated to the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises and is recognised by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. It undertakes multidisciplinary and collaborative applied research in the field of vehicular exhaust and ambient air quality management. A comprehensive India-specific database of vehicular emissions and source profiles has been developed at ARAI and is being extensively used by Indian researchers for conducting their studies at various locations.

The organisation undertakes projects on development and evaluation of alternate fuel engines and projects to understand the challenges with the use of alternate fuels, emissions and performance. ARAI also supports the automotive and component industry through developmental and certification testing at its Centre of Excellence in E-mobility.

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