In recent years, generous philanthropic gifts from private donors have helped us establish state-of-the-art Centres promoting pioneering research in fields such as neuroscience, climate change and healthcare.
Centre for Brain Research
A generous contribution of 225 crores for 10 years from the Pratiksha Trust, set up by Kris and Sudha Gopalakrishnan, helped IISc establish the Centre for Brain Research in 2014. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the Centre at IISc on February 18, 2015.
The Centre will function autonomously, with researchers focusing on understanding the functioning of the brain, in order to find cures for neurodegenerative conditions and diseases accelerated by old age, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Neuroscientists, psychiatrists, neurologists, engineers and computational scientists would work together to address common problems in order to reduce the burden of dementia and develop innovative neuromorphic computing architectures.
The Centre for Brain Research (CBR) is setup as a clinical research facility to study aging and degenerative diseases related to aging. CBR will work with other similar institutions in India and around the world to collaborate and leverage their research. CBR will create a capacity in India in these areas so that we can help find solutions to these issues.
The centre will focus on aging and aging related disorders. Over time, it will expand to include all aspects of Brain Research to become one of the leading such centres in India and this part of the world.
India will have more than 200 million people above the age of 65 years. A significant percentage of this population will have some aging related disorder. It is important to help this segment of population. This is a huge cost to the families and to society.
IISc is the premier research institution in India. It has the breadth and depth that is necessary for providing full support to CBR. CBR will benefit from the culture and processes that already exist at IISc. CBR will work closely with the Centre for Neuroscience at IISc. The researchers at CBR will also benefit from the IISc community.
If research groups like CBR are able to attract good researchers and do world class research, private funding will be available. It is only by results that more and more funding will happen.
Pratiksha Trust is our family trust for charitable activities setup by Sudha Gopalakrishnan and me. Its areas of focus are education, research, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Robert Bosch Centre for Cyber Physical Systems
In 2011, the Robert Bosch Foundation committed to providing Rs. 11 crores every year for 10 years to establish the Robert Bosch Centre for Cyber Physical Systems. Scientists at the interdisciplinary Centre focus on leveraging the power of advances in sensing, communication and data analytics technologies to address key challenges in critical areas such as healthcare and water conservation.
Research at the Centre focuses, in part, on finding affordable and novel ways to monitor and improve water quality, detect loss, and conserve water. Scientists at the Centre also work on novel systems and technologies at the frontiers of healthcare, making diagnosis and monitoring more accessible. A third area of focus involves energy monitoring and diagnostics of energy generation systems to improve their efficiency. The Centre also develops innovative platform technologies in-house, tailored to cope with new requirements and resource constraints. The Centre takes part in community-driven and government-driven efforts geared towards the identification and development of infrastructure and skills, including activities such as chain mapping.
Divecha Centre for Climate Change
In 2009, a joint contribution of USD 3 million over 5 years was made by Arjun Divecha, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co., and the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment. The Divecha Centre for Climate Change, established with that funding, was inaugurated by Arjun Divecha at IISc in January 2011.
The Centre fosters cutting-edge research on pressing climate change impacts and issues. Research at the Centre focuses on areas such as geoengineering, glaciology and renewable energy, apart from the vagaries of the Indian monsoon. In addition to fundamental research in climate change, the Centre also actively focuses on raising awareness throughout the country, through educational and training programmes, workshops, national quizzes, invited international lectures and exchange visits.
Efforts are also being made to contribute to shaping climate change policy in the country by actively engaging policy makers and government agencies.