Event: UK-India workshop on Research and Innovation collaboration opportunities in 'future cities'

24th February 2014, 9:00am to 25th February 2014, 6:00pm

By invitation only

The workshop will take place in New Delhi, India on 24th and 25th February 2014 with UK and Indian participants from academia, funding agencies and industry.

Over the past year, the UK’s Science and Innovation Network (UKSIN), Research Councils UK India (RCUK-I) and the Energy, Climate & Growth Unit (ECGU) have facilitated several collaborations between key stakeholders in India and the UK to promote bilateral research co-operation in the area of ‘Future Cities’. These stakeholders include academic institutions, industrial partners, government and the funding agencies.

The proposed delegation to India aims to bring experts from the UK and Indian research institutes together, along with funding partners, to examine in more detail the opportunities for collaboration.



09:30 -10:00  Registration

Plenary session 1

10:00 - 10:05  Opening address - Objectives and expected outputs - Mark Sinclair, Head of Science and Innovation Network, India

  • From knowledge into delivery
  • Joint UK-India Centre of Excellence - Future cities knowledge platform

10:05 - 10:15  Welcome address - MHRD's initiatives in the urbanisation space - Ms Anita Sharma, Additional Secretary, MHRD

10:15 - 10:25  UK scene setting address (to set out issues and challenges being addressed in the UK through research on cities and how this is feeding into delivery. What are the lessons that have been learned? What are the barriers? - Dr Simon Buckle, Policy Director, Grantham Institute of Climate Change, Imperial College

10:25 - 10:35 India scene setting address (to set out India's plans for urbanisation and elaborate on key initiatives such as JNNURM) - Representative from Ministry of Urban Development

10:35 - 10:45  UK in India address (to present key local initiatives undertaken by the UK in India to highlight the challenges and opportunities of creating sustainable cities in India) - Greg Briffa, Team Leader DFID-India

10:45 - 10:55  Special address on the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor - Amitabh Kant, CEO, Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation Ltd

10:55 - 11:05  Keynote address - Honorable Minister Pallam Raju, Union Minister of Human Resources and Development

11:05 - 11:15  Closing remarks - Sir James Bevan KCMG, British High Commissioner to India

11:15 - 11:30  Coffee break

11:30 - 13:00  Breakout session 1 

Theme 1: Leadership and social innovation in urban design and planning. UK theme leader - Jon Price, CEO, Centre for Low Carbon Futures. Indian theme leader - Dr Chetan Vaidya, Director, School of Planning and Archtiecture, New Delhi

Theme 2: Towards resilient and sustainable urban infrastructure - Energy, Water, Sewage and Transport. UK theme leader - Professor Cedo Maksimovic, Imperial College. Indian theme leader - Professor Krithi Ramamrithan, IIT Bombay

13:00 - 14:00  Lunch

14:00 - 15:30  Breakout session 2

Theme 3: Reducing energy demand from new and existing urban habitat - problems and issues in the UK and India. UK theme leader - Professor Martin Mayfield, Head of the Urban Institute, University of Sheffield. Indian theme leader - Professor Uday Desai, Director IIT Hyderabad

Theme 4: Tangible and intangible heritage of cities and their preservation - problems and issues in the UK and India. UK theme leader - Julie McLaren, ESRC. Indian theme leader - Professor Ajay Khare, School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal.

15:45 - 17:00  Plenary session 2

Jointly chaired by Mark Sinclair and Amita Sharma

  • Theme leaders to summarise the key takeaways from breakout sessions 1 and 2 (10 minutes each)
  • Wrap up of day 1
  • Set out the expectations of Day 2
  • Vote of thanks and other announcements


18:30 - 21:00 Networking reception and dinner jointly hosted by SIN and RCUK

Welcome address  - Mark Sinclair and Dr Nafees Meah

Special address (India) - Dr Isher Ahluwalia, ICRIER (TBC)

Special address (UK) - Professor Sandy Thomas, Foresight


09:00 - 09:20  Plenary session 3

Recap of day 1 - Mark Sinclair

Introductions to day 2 - Dr Amita Sharma, MHRD

City platforms to approach, introducing the cities and speakers - Dr Pradipta Banerji, IIT Roorkee

Three initiatives have recently been conceived as part of the National Agenda by NHRD with technical inputs from the Indian Institutes of Technology and the Schools Planning and Architecture and participation of faculty from the Indian Institues of Management:

  • Future of cities
  • Design thinking
  • Science and culture

As part of the decision, three iconic multi-disciplinary themes have been identified to translate research from laboratories and pilot projects to actual implementation: Mumbai, Varanasi and Uttarakhand. In the breakout sessions, we will deliberate on the pilot projects and brainstorm on what opportunities may emerge for the UK and India research and innovation collaboration.

09:20 - 10:00 Breakout Session 3 – Case Studies 1

1. Varanasi (Speaker to be identified by MHRD)

In Varanasi, the focus is on understanding the ethos of the place that is intrinsically connected with the Ganga river and the people and their built and cultural heritage. An understanding of the past will provide urban design solutions that reclaim the heritage and allow for planned redevelopment. Sustainable infrastructure and built habitat are key components of Varanasi’s ecosystem.

2. Uttarakhand (Speaker to be identified by MHRD)

In Uttarakhand, the recent flood devastation has shown that design thinking is essential to manage and reduce the conflict between the aspirations of the people and the fragile Himalayan ecology. The fundamental spine for this Himalayan state is religious tourism and the environment, with two of the major rivers, Ganga and Yamuna, which define the economy of the Indo-Gangetic plains, originating in this state. Regional planning, conservation of built and cultural heritage, and sustainable infrastructure and local built habitat are important for Uttarakhand

100:00 - 10:40

Breakout Session 4 – Case Studies 2

3. Mumbai (Speaker to be identified by MHRD)

In Mumbai, the focus is on all issues related to sustainable redevelopment of the Dharavi slums. Thus it involves design thinking that needs to provide water and sewage infrastructure, transportation infrastructure and low cost green building redevelopment without large‐scale relocation of people, as the fundamental premise is that people and the economy are fundamental to Dharavi.

4. UK demonstrator case study– Karl Baker, Future Cities Catapult

The Future Cities Catapult is a Technology Strategy Board initiative to create a Global centre of excellence on urban innovation to address the challenge of urban integration: how cities can take a more joined up approach to the way they plan and operate.

 10:40 - 11:00  Coffee break


11:00 - 11:40  Plenary Session IV

Chaired by - Professor Andy Gouldson, University of Leeds

All the participants reconvene in plenary to discuss the outputs from the individual break-out discussions. Rapporteur from each break-out session will get 8 minutes each to present a summary of their brainstorming session.

11:40 - 12:40 

Facilitated Group Discussion Session

Facilitated by – Dr Nafees Meah, Director, RCUK-India

UK-India Joint Centre(s) of Excellence - Future Cities Knowledge Platform – What does it look like? How will it:

 Achieve knowledge to delivery?

 Engage and understand user needs?

 Promote leadership and social innovation?

 Engage with industry?

 Transfer knowledge and skills?

 Indentify candidate cities?

12:40 - 13:00  Concluding remarks and next steps - Mark Sinclair

13:00 - 14:00  Lunch

14:00 - 15:00  Policy roundtable to discuss the role, financing, timeline, milestones and governance of the UK-India Joint Centre(s) of Excellence - Future Cities Knowledge Platform (Closed door - by invitation only)



Past events archive

25th November, 2014
5th November, 2014
13th March, 2014

Latest news

9th September, 2014
New nuclear event at British Science Festival
14th July, 2014
Energy storage report launch at Chatham House
11th July, 2014
Joint CLCF and University of Birmingham article in The Conversation