Nissan and IIT Madras enter into a Research Co-operation agreement

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Nissan and IIT Madras (IIT-M) have agreed on two MoUs for supporting potential engineers who will contribute future technology for mobility and create an environment for nurturing the growth of automobile technology in India. It’s a really appreciable step by an auto company in India, where indigenous R&D is nowhere close to developed world as regards automotive industry.

This agreement is the next link in the chain of progression after the Expression of Interest was signed between Nissan and IIT Madras in January 2010 to start discussing potential collaborations in the areas of research and development.

Fist part of the MoU is the ‘Nissan Foundation Scholar’ Program, which will support students of IIT-M and will be valid until 2015. The program aims to provide selected students with financial aid, a short training at Nissan headquarters in Japan and an internship at RNTBCI. NSF is providing this kind of student support for the first time outside Japan.

The second MoU agreed by Nissan’s R&D Centre in India (RNTBCI) is titled the ‘Nissan Support Program’ and is valid upto March 2013. The initiative will aim to support Research & Development Project at IIT-M in the area of Engineering, Science, Management, Humanities and Social Sciences, which will contribute to Automobile Sector in the future.

The Nissan Support Program will invite proposals from the faculty of IIT Madras every year for research work in the identified areas. Post a joint review of Nissan officials and IIT Madras, around 4-5 projects will be chosen for funding every year.

Celebrating this initiative, a ‘Nissan Day’ event at IIT Madras was organized for the students, faculty and management. There was a Technology Exhibition highlighting the various engineering and technological innovations being carried out at Nissan. The Nissan Micra was on display to showcase some of the performance features and design attributes of the car.

Says Mr. Haruyoshi Kumura, Fellow of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd & Director of Nissan Science Foundation, “Our association with IIT-M for research collaboration has been very rewarding. We already have a couple of collaborative projects with IIT-M and also started a research laboratory at IIT Madras Research Park. The scholarship is an area where we want to provide an opportunity to reward deserving students. We are confident that this partnership will offer them not just financial aid for completing their education but give them an opportunity to learn and be exposed to the Nissan world.”

Talking about the Research Support Program, Mr. Hiroshi Nagaoka, Senior Vice President & Director (Nissan Operations), RNTBCI said, “We are delighted to be associated with IIT-M towards this initiative. Our association with the faculty and the management of IIT-M has been very encouraging and we are eager to continue working on mutually beneficial collaborations”.

On the twin MoUs with Nissan, Dr Job Kurian, Professor and Dean of the Centre for Industrial Consultancy & Sponsored Research (IC&SR), IIT Madras said, “We have taken our long-standing association with Nissan a step further. The ‘Nissan Support Program’ is a great effort to promote fundamental research among the young faculty members at IIT-M. ‘Nissan Foundation Scholar Program’ promises to nurture our students’ potential providing them with an attractive opportunity of overseas training. We are very pleased with these developments and look forward to a continued mutually-benefiting relationship with Nissan.”

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