The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay-Monash Research Academy and one of Saudi Arabia's largest companies, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), have joined hands to produce graduates with highly specialised knowledge required by the advanced chemicals and polymers industry.
SABIC is a Fortune 500 listed company and Saudi Arabia' second largest diversified chemical company.
The agreement with SABIC will fund 12 PhD students over the next four years. It builds on partnerships the Academy has already established with entities including Infosys, Reliance Industries, Jindal Steel Works, P&G, Intel, Thermax, Piramal Life Sciences and Tata Consultancy Services in India and the CSIRO, BHPB and Orica Mining Services in Australia.
Based in Mumbai, the Academy was established in 2008 by Monash University and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay. Partnerships with and exposure to industry is a key component of the innovative, transnational PhD program. Candidates study in both India and Australia and graduate with a jointly badged degree.
Monash Vice-President (India and China Initiatives) Professor Tam Sridhar, said the agreement indicated that the Academy was gaining international recognition.
Research projects in areas of interest to SABIC - including novel chemicals, plastics, and metals - will be included in the next intake of PhD scholars later this year.
The Academy recently celebrated its first graduation ceremony, with PhDs being conferred on four graduates, two of whom have already gained employment with industry partners.
There are currently 130 PhD scholars at the Academy and this number is expected to build to 300 in the next few years. Approximately 120 Monash faculty staff are involved in collaborative projects that are focussed around six major themes: Advanced Computational Engineering, Simulation and Manufacture; Infrastructure Engineering; Biotechnology and Stem Cell Research; Clean energy; Water; and Nanotechnology.
The agreement with SABIC comes as construction begins on a new building for the IITB-Monash Research Academy in Bombay, which is expected to be completed at the end of 2014.