The covid-19 situation that prevented progress during 2020, has unfortunately continued in 2021, in Norway and in India. Hence, the major part of planned activities could not be realized. Another unfortunate aspect is that many students (master/PhD and pdocs) that were envisaged as key persons for exchange and collaborative efforts, have finished studies/end of contracts. Thereby continuity is challenged, with respect to exchange and initiatives that require physical participation. However, we do have a strong and solid pool of permanent staff/scientists. This implies that certain smaller joint efforts have been carried out. Furthermore, we have a fundament for future collaborative efforts. We have hosted one Indian PhD in 2020/21, who already stayed in our group by means of prestigious Indian funding. We have exchanged samples, and done measurements n our respective laboratories, and at international facilities (mail-in samples), and publications are being written. We have contributed (both ways) to results that appear in PhD theses. However, there is no doubt that the project has suffered severely during a challenging period with lock down and strongly limited possibilities for travelling.
Directly related to our education and research efforts at UiO in the field of materials for energy and environment we will establish an extensive collaboration with three Indian institutions; JNCASR, Bangalore; Anna University, Chennai and CUTN, Thiruvarur. UiO is a stronghold in this field under the umbrellas of Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology and the "UiO energy" effort, and is a key partner of several nationally prioritized efforts as well as ongoing researcher projects funded by RCN.
Our objective is a strong collaboration on education and training of master/PhDs with due focus on topics that underpin innovative solutions for sustainable technology. We will benefit from the strong expertise in materials/nano science at JNCASR as well on computational materials science more generally (all Indian partners). This opens an option to integrate modeling (predictions) by Indian partners with experimental tools and verification at UiO. The educational and research aspects of the project will be closely interwoven.
New intensive courses will be established, assuring inter-disciplinarity between Physics, Chemistry, Materials and Nano Science. Curricula and dedicated teaching material will be developed. Hands-on training on computational modelling and on cutting-edge techniques in synthesis and characterization is provided. Joint student supervision (master/PhDs) is planned, including exchange for shorter or longer periods. Exchange of staff is planned, for teachning, supervision and scientific networking and research, including organizing and providing talks at workshops/seminars. Special emphasis is put on means to enhance mobility. A detailed risk analysis is done with suggested modes for mitigation.
The scientific part of the collaboration will focus on materials for energy and environment, specifically batteries for energy storage, thermoelectric for energy conversion, absorbents for water cleaning and catalysts for abatement of harmful gases.
INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research