IIT Bombay faculty visit MIT’s Tata Center

Meeting between sister-centers yields cross-pollination of ideas, and further collaborations are planned for 2015

IITB faculty learn about student projects in MIT's Edgerton Center.
IITB faculty learn about student projects in MIT’s Edgerton Center.

When a delegation from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay visited MIT this December, it was a tale of two Tata Centers.

For a week, the MIT Tata Center played host to faculty from IITB’s Tata Centre, which launched earlier this year. However, this was not the first summit between the sister-centers. In August of 2014 a conference was held in Mumbai, affording a chance for the two groups to exchange ideas.

The December event was MIT’s opportunity to return the favor. The visit was highlighted by tours of campus, strategy sessions, and project presentations by MIT Tata Fellows.

The IITB group was given an extensive look at MIT’s facilities, visiting 15 labs across a variety of disciplines. Special attention was paid to the areas in which Tata Fellows are developing their projects, including the Media Lab, Edgerton Center, Pappalardo Engineering Lab, and a number of specialized research labs.

The guests from balmy Mumbai were also treated to some vintage Cambridge weather, featuring torrential rain, intermittent snowfall, and sub-freezing temperatures over the course of the week.

Both centers are funded by the Tata Trusts and share a mission of researching and designing technology that will serve human needs in India’s resource-constrained communities. Graduate students from departments across MIT and IITB develop projects in six focus areas: agriculture, energy, environment, health, urbanization, and water.

Representative of the growing partnership between the two Institutes, further collaborations are planned for 2015, ranging from extensive fieldwork in India to campus colloquiums in both Cambridge and Mumbai.