From the President's Desk: Building international opportunities in India

Addressing the world’s most pressing problems needs a global approach.

Rooftop photo of U of A North Campus

The University of Alberta is a proven leader with the research and teaching strength to drive world-changing contributions that address some of the globe’s  most pressing challenges, including sustainable energy transition, climate change, food security and new vaccines.

We don’t do this work in isolation. Solutions of this magnitude require collaboration and innovation on a global scale. That’s why a small group of us, including André McDonald, Associate Vice-President (Strategic Research Initiatives and Performance), Vice-President Research Innovation, and Cen Huang, Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President (International), are in India representing the U of A. We are one of the leading Canadian institutions forging meaningful relationships in India. Over the next several days, we will be strengthening and growing our partnerships and collaborations with an initial strategic focus on energy systems, energy transition and climate change mitigation. Our work in India will also see us renewing, signing and exploring new memorandums of understanding as we work to grow collaborations between the U of A, several Indian Institutes of Technology and the Indian Institute of Science. 

This is part of our plan to expand and advance our capacity to lead and participate in major national and international research initiatives. We know the possibilities are vast, and the need is great. The Indo-Pacific region, the world’s fastest-growing economic region, also faces some of the world’s biggest climate change challenges. We must work together to find sustainable solutions.

Discovery is interdisciplinary, drawing on all levels of government, academia, industry and communities on a global scale. The U of A has a long history of discovering solutions for complex problems and is home to Future Energy Systems (FES), Canada’s largest energy research cluster working to improve energy processes and lower environmental impact. Supported by a $75-million investment from the federal government, FES encompasses 121 projects, 143 researchers and more than 1,000 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. These are the types of innovative projects we need to grow to build a better future for people in Alberta and around the world. 

Our work needs to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow, collaborating with some of the brightest minds around the world. Coming together as One University enables us to advance powerful shared goals and create an enhanced and collaborative environment for academics, researchers and learners.

U of A students, scholars and researchers come from around the world, including India, bringing different perspectives that expand our thinking, driving us to dig deeper to find the best answers. This is how we will continue to ignite innovation and creativity.

Our drive to discover and advance change for the better has only grown stronger with time. Our work in India will help us spur forward our research and teaching efforts to seek solutions and discover possibilities to help secure a sustainable future for the planet.

Bill Flanagan
President and Vice-chancellor