Strategic Partnership RWTH and Indian Institute of Technology Madras

  Indian Institute of Technology Madras sign in various languages Copyright: © OIR IIT Madras

The Strategic Partnership

RWTH has enjoyed a decades-long friendship with the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in Chennai or IIT Madras for short. In 1959, RWTH supported the foundation of IIT Madras. Just a few years later, in 1966, the two institutions formed the first Indo-German university partnership. In September 2016, exactly 50 years later, this relationship was taken to the next level with the "sister universities" motto. As pioneers in the field of Indo-German university cooperation, RWTH Aachen University and IIT Madras offer a successful platform today, enabling stakeholders from academia, business, civil society, and politics opportunities to participate.

      RWTH delegation visits IIT Madras

    The strategic partnership has received funding from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Indian University Grants Commission (UGC) under the Indo-German Partnership in Higher Education Programme until the end of 2020. This has helped to facilitate numerous study and research stays in both directions and several new third-party funded research projects.

    From 2021 onwards, RWTH Aachen University will support the strategic partnership with the

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    What is a strategic partnership?

    RWTH adopts strategic partnerships with renowned partners with similar profiles, such as the Chinese Tsinghua University in Beijing, the Canadian University of Alberta in Edmonton, and the Indian IIT Madras in Chennai. These special partnerships distinguish themselves through the sustainable expansion of collaboration at all institutional levels. This concerns teaching, research, and administration. Part of this collaboration includes developing joint structures and innovative teaching offers, establishing research associations, and solidifying synergetic collaborative formats. The objective is to sharpen the teaching and research profile and to promote the internationalization of RWTH and its partner universities.

    What are the core objectives of the strategic partnership between RWTH – IIT Madras?

    The core objective of the strategic partnership is to develop innovative solutions and key technologies together and thus face global challenges. To achieve this, scientific collaborations are continuously being built and expanded, and external stakeholders are included in a targeted manner. A high level of application, entrepreneurship, and industrial collaborations is promoted, and highly qualified intercultural personnel trained. The strategic partnership aims towards institutionalization through the implementation of sustainable joint structures and processes.

    What are the core topics of the strategic partnership between RWTH – IIT Madras?

    Current core topics of the strategic partnership focus on the fields of environment, biotechnoloy and biology, energy, mechanical engineering, materials, and medical engineering. Collaborations in other fields are being considered.


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    IIT Madras Profile

    IIT Madras is located in the coastal metropolis of Chennai, the capital of the southern Indian state Tamil Nadu, and has been ranked as a leading institution in the country. The campus is located within a large nature reserve area in the south of the city, which primarily encompasses Guindy National Park, and offers diverse flora and fauna. Like all the other IITs, IIT Madras focuses on the engineering disciplines, but also has an excellent reputation in the natural sciences, linguistics, business, and economics.

    It is often referred to as the Stanford of India due to its focus on technological research, close collaboration with industry, and a lively culture of innovative entrepreneurship. One unique characteristic it boasts is the first Research Park at an Indian university with an integrated Incubation Cell, which also offers promising perspectives for researchers and entrepreneurs at RWTH.

    The Indo-German Center for Sustainability is also located at IIT Madras. It is the only center of its kind in India and is a center of excellence for integrated technology-oriented sustainability research in the areas of renewable energies, water and waste management, and rural and urban development. The German contribution to the cooperation includes involvement from the TU9 universities and CAU Kiel, with RWTH Aachen University acting as coordinator.