From Liverpool to India: University paves way to expand global relationships

Last week a delegation from the University of Liverpool visited Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) to strengthen existing relationships with world-leading institutions in the city and foster new ones.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Jones was joined by researchers from the University’s Faculties of Health and Life Sciences, Science and Engineering and Humanities and Social Sciences. Here they met people and organisations with a shared aspiration for positive worldwide impact through outstanding research and collaboration.

Professor Tim Jones said: “We are a civic university with a global reputation and a vision to becoming a Top 100 university. It was a hugely positive visit to Bengaluru, where we were given a warm and generous welcome from all our hosts. This opportunity has allowed us to develop and invest in a range of strategic partnerships to help achieve our mutual ambitions.

“During the week we met with higher education institutions, industry and philanthropists with whom we have a shared values and aspirations. This visit was just the beginning and now we look forward to building on and developing our relationships to increase the global impact and reputation of our research and education.”

Highlights of the week include:

£1.5m pledge

Professor Jones signed a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) to reaffirm and expand their long-standing research partnership. To further bolster this initiative, the two institutions gratefully accepted a pledge of £1.5 million from the Pratiksha Trust, on behalf of its co-founders, Kris and Sudha Gopalakrishnan.

The University already has a longstanding partnership with NIHMANS. Together they have research strands exploring brain infections, mental health, and neuro-imaging and epilepsy and an active dual PhD programme. Significantly more than 200,000 thousand lives have been saved since the inception of the partnership.

Read more about the MoU here.

Professor Tim Jones exchanges documents with Professor Pratima Murthy, Director of NIMHANS and Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan, founder of Pratiksha Trust.

Professor Tim Jones exchanges documents with Professor Pratima Murthy, Director of NIMHANS and Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan, founder of Pratiksha Trust.

Shared history

The University of Liverpool team exchanged an MoU with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, the premier science institute in India and ranked number one of all institutions in the country.

Here they were given a friendly reception by their Indian counterparts and they discussed how they can build on their existing relationship to do more meaningful and impactful research.

As well as discussing institutional alignment on materials science and engineering, Professor Uptal S. Tatu and Professor Pat Eyers, reflected on the University of Liverpool and IISc having the oldest and second oldest biochemistry departments in the world respectively.

Professor Tim Jones exchanges gift with Prof Govindan Rangarajan, Director, IISc Bangalore

Prof Jones and Director of IISc, Bangalore, Prof Rangarajan

Meeting industry partners

As well as building relationships with places of learning, Professor Jones was joined by colleagues to meet with Hindustan Unilever R&D Bengaluru facility team. The University already has a close relationship with the wider Unilever group, and their work within the Materials Innovation Factory (MIF) focuses on developing formulated materials. During the visit, the delegation was given a warm welcome and had the opportunity to see on site facilities and explore opportunities for collaboration.

The team from ‘the original redbrick’ hold red bricks of soap

Bringing heritage and tech together

The delegation party also had the pleasure of visiting the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), the sister institute to IISc Bangalore which focuses on humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Here the group met with NIAS colleagues as well as Dean from the Mysore School of Architecture to discuss opportunities to introduce digital sciences to the heritage-focused work at NIAS.

Professor Jones also had the chance to meet with four University of Liverpool Virtual International Fellows. Funded by alumni and friends of the University, Liverpool’s Virtual Visiting Fellowships provides an opportunity for candidates to gain collaborative research experience in an international research environment. Pictured with Professor Jones are Dr Yashaswini Somashekar, Madan Suderraj, Diya Mukherjee and S. Udaykumar. Their research includes an historic cultural landscape assessment in Mysuru city, terracotta crafts of west Bengal, fired clay brick foundations in the ancient city of Talakadu, and the role of Tipu Sultan’s Armoury in Bengaluru.

Meeting alumni
The trip concluded with a dinner where University of Liverpool alumni came together for a meal with Professor Tim Jones and other members of the Liverpool team. As an alumnus himself, Tim welcomed the group for the informal meal where he thanked the group for their continued support and also introduced the University’s new strategy, ‘Liverpool 2031’. Find out more about the strategy here –

Alumni meet for special dinner