Media Releases

Top Canadian, Indian institutions form $30M partnership to improve water and infrastructure safety, eradicate diseases

November 6, 2012

Sci­en­tists from the Uni­ver­si­ty of British Colum­bia, Uni­ver­si­ty of Alber­ta, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to and 11 lead­ing insti­tu­tions in India are join­ing forces to tack­le urgent issues in both coun­tries with a $30-mil­lion part­ner­ship.

Sup­port­ed by the Cana­di­an gov­ern­ment and state and indus­try part­ners in India, the India-Cana­da Cen­tre for Inno­v­a­tive Mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary Part­ner­ships to Accel­er­ate Com­mu­ni­ty Trans­for­ma­tion and Sus­tain­abil­i­ty, or IC-IMPACTS, will focus on water safe­ty, dis­ease pre­ven­tion and treat­ment, and the devel­op­ment of safe and sus­tain­able civ­il infra­struc­ture. It will also sup­port new tech­nol­o­gy spin-offs and the train­ing of more than 700 stu­dents and researchers.

Through the devel­op­ment, deploy­ment and com­mer­cial­iza­tion of new tech­nolo­gies, and the train­ing and exchange of stu­dents and researchers, IC-IMPACTS is expect­ed to gen­er­ate eco­nom­ic ben­e­fits for both nations while build­ing research capac­i­ty and solv­ing issues of impor­tance to both coun­tries.

The part­ner­ship was for­mal­ly launched today in New Del­hi by Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harp­er, who was joined by UBC Pres­i­dent Stephen Toope, U of T Pres­i­dent David Nay­lor and U of A Vice-Pres­i­dent (Research) Lorne Babiuk.

Host­ed at UBC with the full part­ner­ship of U of T and U of A, IC-IMPACTS’s research pro­grams will be led by three world-renowned Cana­di­an sci­en­tists. Part­ner com­mu­ni­ties in India and Cana­da are being iden­ti­fied as col­lab­o­ra­tors and ear­ly adopters of new tech­nolo­gies (see back­ground). The three inter-con­nect­ed research pro­grams are:

The Sus­tain­able and Safe Infra­struc­ture research pro­gram, led by IC-IMPACTS Sci­en­tif­ic Direc­tor and UBC Civ­il Engi­neer­ing Prof. Nemy Ban­thia, will devel­op new tools to assess the con­di­tion of aging con­crete struc­tures and devel­op low-cost, cement-based build­ing mate­ri­als rein­forced with fibre from agri­cul­tur­al waste.

The Inte­grat­ed Water Man­age­ment research pro­gram, led by U of A Mechan­i­cal Engi­neer­ing Prof. Sushan­ta Mitra, will devel­op, test and imple­ment new tech­nolo­gies to mon­i­tor water qual­i­ty and treat potable and waste water.

The Pub­lic Health Dis­ease Pre­ven­tion and Treat­ment research pro­gram, led by U of T Phar­ma­cy Prof. Lak­sh­mi Kotra, will mon­i­tor drug resis­tance to malar­ia and fun­gal infec­tions, and devel­op new treat­ments to con­trol the spread of resis­tance in infec­tious dis­eases.

NB: U of A Pres­i­dent Indi­ra Sama­rasek­era is avail­able for inter­views in Cana­da, please con­tact Deb Ham­mach­er (780–492-8458 or 780–233-7269) to arrange.

UBC Pres­i­dent Stephen Toope and U of T Pres­i­dent David Nay­lor are avail­able from New Del­hi upon request; please con­tact Randy Schmidt (604–822-1266 or 604–828-0787) for Prof. Toope and Lau­rie Stephens (416–978-2105) for Pres­i­dent Nay­lor.

Pradip­ta Baner­ji, direc­tor of the Indi­an Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy Roor­kee, is avail­able for media while trav­el­ing in Ger­many. He can be reached by cell­phone at +91–750-066‑2233 or by E‑mail at


For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

U of T Media Rela­tions
Tel: 416–978-0100