Thought Leadership Forum

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Thought Leadership Forum

The theme of the first Thought Leadership Forum under iRISE is "India's Road to Net-Zero: Technology Imperatives for Sustainability". As India moves towards achieving its net-zero commitments, the Thought Leadership Forum aims to aid businesses by deploying agile strategies to achieve long-term sustainability.

As a part of this multi-pronged strategy to promote a culture of innovation, the Thought Leadership Forum strand will bring together leaders from academia and industry to discuss mega-trends across the globe and their impact on the ecosystem. Leaders will share their ideas, knowledge, and experience on the chosen themes; to discuss and debate and contribute to a deeper understanding of the trends.

Based on these discussions, the group will develop a report, which can be referred to and acted on by industry, academia, and policymakers. An academic or industry expert will lead on conceptualizing, organizing small group discussions and writing the report in consultation with other experts in the field. Women thought leaders will be actively engaged over this platform.
Thought Leadership themes will be based on funding partner priorities, wherever there is a scope for India - UK collaborations and globally emerging trends basis which academic and industry leaders will connect, deliberate on the extent and gravity of the challenges, understand its holistic implications for the entire ecosystem and promote enabling pathway for sectoral innovations.

Objectives of Thought Leadership Forum:

  • To bring industry, academia, policymakers, and think-tanks on the same platform to identify megatrends across the globe and exchange ideas, knowledge of their impact on the ecosystem and share experiences.
  • To produce research-based Whitepapers for policymakers, industry, and academia.
  • To strengthen bilateral ties and encourage collaboration between India & the U.K. for research and innovation.

Chair of Thought Leadership Forum on Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR)

Sir Thomas Leon Blundell, (FRS FRSC FMedSci MAE) is a British biochemist, structural biologist, and science administrator. He was a member of the team of Dorothy Hodgkin that solved in 1969 the first structure of a protein hormone, insulin. Blundell has made contributions to the structural biology of polypeptide hormones, growth factors, receptor activation, signal transduction, and DNA double-strand break repair, subjects important in cancer, tuberculosis, and familial diseases.

He has developed software for protein modelling and understanding the effects of mutations on protein function, leading to new approaches to structure-guided and Fragment-based lead discovery. In 1999 he co-founded the oncology company Astex Therapeutics, which has moved ten drugs into clinical trials.


Chair of Thought Leadership Forum on Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR)

Prof Nirmal Kumar Ganguly, M.D was formerly a Distinguished Biotechnology Research Professor, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India. He was formerly President of the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), as well as that of the Asian Institute of Public Health, Bhubaneswar, Odisha. He is the former Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi; former Director, PGIMER (Chandigarh); and former Director, National Institute of Biologicals (Noida).

Prof. Ganguly has published more than 775 research papers and has supervised 130 Ph.D theses as Supervisor/Co-Supervisor. His major areas of research have been Tropical Diseases, Cardiovascular Diseases and Diarrhoeal Diseases. His interest encompasses the disciplines of Immunology, Biotechnology and Public Health.

Thought Leadership Forum: Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR)

Given the impact of the pandemic on global health and well-being, anti- microbial resistance (AMR) has been identified as the lead theme for the TLF. The forum will be jointly chaired by Sir Tom Blundell and Prof N. K. Ganguly.

The first brainstorming meeting on AMR was held on 14-15 November 2022 with a focus on the following:

  1. Impact of COVID pandemic in the rise of AMR
  2. Indiscriminate use/ misuse of antibiotics
  3. Regulation for the sale of medicine over the counter (OTC), regulation of antibiotic usage in the food industry
  4. Plans for the multi-sectoral approach (human, animal and environmental issues) to limit the spread of AMR
  5. The adoption of the One-Health Approach
  6. Environmental AMR: incorrect disposal of hospital waste, irresponsible use of antibiotics in farming, dumping of untreated pharma effluents in water bodies and their regulation
  7. Antimicrobial Stewardship
  8. Role of Probiotics in limiting the spread of AMR
  9. Need for more new drugs, repurposing of drugs, Combination of antimicrobial agents to tackle the ongoing menace of AMR
  10. Vaccines as the intervention
  11. Market analysis for Antimicrobial usage and AMR
  12. Economic loss due to AMR, etc.

Thought Leadership Forum on Material Sustainability led by Dr. Swaminathan Sivaram

Presently INSA Senior Scientist and Honorary professor at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune, Dr. Sivaram is an Indian polymer chemist, inventor, institution builder and a former director of the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune. He is known for his pioneering work on alkylation of tertiary alkyl halides with trialkylaluminum and olefin polymerization. He holds the highest number of US patents by an Indian working outside the US. He is one of the most decorated scientists and was awarded D.Sc. (honoris causa) by Purdue University, USA. He is a fellow of several significant professional organizations.

The Government of India awarded him the fourth highest civilian honour of the Padma Shri, in 2006, for his contributions to Indian science.


Thought Leadership Forum on Energy Sustainability led by Dr. Ramakrishna R Sonde

Dr. Sonde is currently a Professor of Practice in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-D), New Delhi. Before this, he held leadership positions at Thermax Ltd, Pune, and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Limited.

By training, Dr. Sonde is a chemical engineer. He spent his initial years at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai. His long association with problems of energy and the environment has led to the development of clean coal technologies, heat pumping technologies, advanced combustion systems, water and wastewater technologies. More recently, his research interests have been on solar energy systems, particularly solar thermal energy systems, including optics, structural design, coatings, absorber design, and controls system design, as well as fuel cell technologies. He has also contributed to developing high-efficiency power conversion devices for low-grade energy.

Dr. Sonde shall be leading a team of scientists and industry experts focusing on energy sustainability and will create a technological road map for India to innovate to utilise her energy resources efficiently.

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