The FUB delegation, consisting of five scientists from Chemistry, Biochemistry and Political Science met with their academic counterparts at IITB in order to chalk out a strategy for the duration of the IGP-program from 2016 to 2020 and beyond. In an opening session Professor Chaudhuri, Deputy Director of IITB and Dr. Morhard, German Consul General in Mumbai, welcomed the scientists and representatives of both universities as well as Ms. Shikha Sinha from DAAD. Doctoral students from FUB, who had been conducting research under the supervision of Professor Lahiri from IITB’s Department of Chemistry, also took part in the workshop. “These kind of exchanges of young researchers are crucial for our cooperation”, emphasizes FUB Chemistry-Professor Sarkar.
In the course of the event, the participants split up into smaller working groups to deliberate on the best way forward. Various plans were made regarding subject-specific areas of cooperation, the content of future workshops, joint publications, student and faculty exchange, the involvement of additional scientists and innovative teaching formats. These discussions extended throughout a dinner in the beautiful Hiranandani Gardens area of Mumbai and it became clear that – thanks to the hospitality of the IITB faculty members and perhaps supported by the excellent Indian food – mutual trust and understanding between the two sides had been firmly established. During a walk through the IITB campus (at a time when the yearly event “Techfest” was taking place) the guests from Berlin gained insights into the IITB-laboratories and the fascinating work being done there. After a wrap-up session on the next day, the Professor Müller from FUB, Inorganic Chemistry, gave a lecture at IITB’s Department of Chemistry and later on, Professor Rühl (FUB, Physical and Theoretical Chemistry) gave a lecture at IITB’s Department of Physics.
The workshop enabled productive exchanges to take place in the natural sciences as well as in the social sciences. In the latter, topics of mutual academic interest such as environmental and climate policy were reflected upon. The scientists made concrete plans for follow-up events at IITB with an extended circle of participants for the month of March. Throughout the event, it was obvious that each side had been exposed to new ideas sparking inspiration for further collaborations. One can look forward to upcoming activities between FUB and IITB in the years to come.