ARCH-India: New platform for Australia-India research

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Collaborative research between Australia and India has increased considerably over the past few years. Many Australian universities have recognised India’s role as a leading global hub for innovation and R&D and have made engagement with India a priority. Yet there remains untapped potential to deepen our two-way research links.   

A new initiative by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) and Melbourne’s Australia India Institute (AII), the Australian Researcher Cooperation Hub – India (ARCH-India) will serve as an online platform for researchers to connect expertise, build relationships, share information, and explore opportunities for collaboration and mobility.  

Community stalwart and former senator Lisa Singh joined the project as AII’s new Director when the website opened up for early access on 31 August.  

“The conception and creation of ARCH-India has been a dearly held ambition of successive Directors of the Australia India Institute,” Lisa Singh told Indian Link. “My role now is very much focused on the mandate for ARCH-India to facilitate increased research collaboration and to find the necessary resources to continue that work long into the future.” 

“In that task, we are very fortunate to have the guidance of Professor Abid Khan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Global Engagement at Monash University, who has agreed to be the Chair of the new ARCH-India Board,” she added. 

“ARCH-India has been codeveloped with universities to particularly support early-career researchers who are new to working internationally; by helping them to identify relevant partners, funding opportunities and experienced mentors to aid them in progressing their work,” Dr Khan said.

The ARCH-India website highlights 15 research areas of bilateral interest. These research areas are advanced materials, agriculture, art and culture, critical minerals, cybersecurity, economy, education, energy, environment, health, infrastructure, law, politics and international relations, social welfare and inclusion, and water.  

An overview is provided for each of these research areas aimed at introducing researchers to the research context in each country and to help build understanding of the research environment in which they can engage and collaborate.  

Source: Canva

ARCH-India is open to every researcher at any research institution or industry R&D in Australia and India, and Director Lisa Singh was happy to announce that the site received strong responses by scholars from both countries since its early access launch phase.  

“In our mentorship program alone, we have over 60 mentors from 20 different institutions in India and another 20 institutions in Australia,” Singh revealed. “We are also seeing scholars from other parts of the world exploring the website and remain very open to the prospect of ARCH-India supporting Australian and Indian researchers working together on projects with researchers from third countries.” 

ARCH-India will allow researchers to:   

  • Showcase research news they have written or shared   
  • Highlight case studies they have worked on and learn from other researcher’s experiences  
  • Indicate research areas where they are open to collaborating   
  • Joining a searchable pool of Indo-Pacific research expertise open to industry, NGO and governments  

“Benefits of joining ARCH-India include, in addition to the valuable information on grants and funding opportunities, case studies of successful research collaborations, research news, updates on government policies impacting research and collaborations, events and travel advice and resources,” Lisa Singh added.  

ARCH-India presents a significant opportunity for Australian and Indian universities, research institutions and industry to deepen their international research and innovation relationships, to build understanding of the national research and education systems, and to strengthen the reputations of both countries for leading-edge research. 

The fully functional platform is now focusing on building its engagement with researchers in the lead up to the official launch in early 2022.  

Researchers are invited to register and upload their researcher profile, here: arch-india.org/user/login  

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Bageshri Savyasachi
Bageshri Savyasachi
Truth-telling, tree-hugging journalist.

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