Norway − India Cooperation on Ocean Research and Higher Education
A pilot project between the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT KGP) works to improve interdisciplinary skills, digital literacy, and critical thinking of undergraduate students.
The project teaches how to use artificial intelligence and data science tools to solve ocean space challenges.
The two universities have developed a customized approach to this practical training in the form of internship program with a possibility of a follow-up at the home university. The program has run since 2019 with no breaks for COVID.
To share an example, in February 2020, at the Indo-Norwegian cooperation event hosted at IIT Madras and attended by several companies and heads of research from Norway and India, a student from this program, Nabil Panchi (IITKGP), presented his technical solutions to a few ocean challenges. A year later, he joined the team of NTNU researchers developing an app that could someday help prevent Titanic -scale disasters. Now Panchi is doing a PhD at NTNU.
Dr Maan Singh Sidhu, Counsellor for Science, Technology and Higher Education in the Royal Norwegian Embassy says that “These skills are highly needed with the growing demand for new technologies and innovative solutions in the maritime sector”.
I am very impressed by the outcomes of this project so far, and I have great expectations towards what it might lead to in the future, says head of the Department of Marine Technology Prof. Sverre Steen. Involving students in research is certainly the way of the future, and India has so many talented young students. I think research collaboration between Norway and India in the field of ocean technology has great potential.