media release

Backgrounder: Funding to strengthen SFU ties with India

June 27, 2011

Nav Chima, project director, SFU BC-India Mobility Initiatives, 778.782.2330;
Joanne Curry, executive director, SFU Surrey, 604.512.3255;
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.3210/9017;

The federal government’s investment of $302,525 to support Simon Fraser University’s delivery of the BC-India Innovation, Exchange and Mobility Initiative will further the university’s goal of developing partnerships with India.

The announcement of Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) funding was made today by the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for WD.

The newly funded initiative will target key areas - clean energy, health, life sciences and new media/film sectors - and will help to strengthen collaborations between students, researchers and industry in both countries.

Recognizing India’s potential for economic growth, SFU in 2006 was the first university in Canada to develop an India Strategy, guided by the SFU-India Advisory Council.

To date the council has supported numerous endeavours, from health initiatives including a major conference on cardiac health in Canada and India, to student involvement in the international Indian Village Life Improvement Project.

Through co-op placements the students contributed to the daily life of rural communities and gained first-hand experience of the issues they face, from education to clean water.

In addition, collaborations between SFU researchers and those in academia and industry in India are already being nurtured – for example, researcher Erik Kjeang’s collaboration with Luminous Industries on developing new fuel cell technology will soon see the company setting up shop in Surrey.

In February Kjeang and SFU dean of applied science Nimal Rajapaske joined city and business representatives as part of the mayor’s mission to India.

SFU President Andrew Petter says with the support of new funding and its council SFU is “well-placed” to play a major role in India’s declared Decade of Innovation.

See the government’s news release at:


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