LONDON U.K. and Indian governments, scientists and industrial engineers are embarking on a £9 million ‘Next Generation Networks’ project to bring online education, healthcare and early warning weather/natural disaster systems to remote areas in both countries.
Part-funded by Research Councils U.K. (RCUK) Digital Economy Programme and led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the five-year collaboration will establish a virtual research centre to look for solutions from emerging and existing technologies
Technology such as wireless sensor networks could be used to deliver healthcare where resources are limited and automatically deliver real time data in areas such as pollution and seismic activity.
The project will also examine how existing IT infrastructure like copper cable networks can perform better, how to best set up new optical infrastructure and implement U.K. broadband technology across India.
“Next generation networks will be the new building blocks of the future digital economy,” said John Hand, EPSRC head of digital economy. “Both U.K. and India are looking to the future, to develop economies based around skilled, high value industries. This also offers a great opportunity for U.K. business in what is still a growing market.”
The project grant comprises £2.5 million from the Research Councils UK (RCUK) Digital Economy Programme, led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and funded by the U.K. Government through DIUS (UK Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills). This has been matched by £2.5 million from Indian Government’s Department of Science and Technology (DST). A further £4 million is being provided by a consortium of academic and industrial partners.
Professor Gerard Parr from the University of Ulster is the lead U.K. academic on the project and BT is the lead U.K. company.
The IU-ATC (India-UK Advanced Technology Centre) consortium consists of leading universities in UK and Institutes in India, and companies from both countries. These include the industrial lead BT, Infosys, Wipro, Sasken, Midas and Tejas. The University of Ulster in Northern Ireland is lead UK institution, and Surrey, University College London, Southampton, Bristol, St Andrews, Lancaster, Cambridge and Queen Mary are also participants. 5 leading Indian Research Institutes are taking part – IIT Madras as the lead Indian institute, Delhi, Mumbai, Kanpur and IISc Bangalore. A number of SMEs are also involved.