The University of Birmingham and The Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) based in Pune, India, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreeing to identify joint research interests in the fields of air quality management, alternative fuels, power train and electric vehicle technology.

The Vehicle and Engine Technology Research Centre in the University’s School of Engineering has a world-leading research profile in combustion engines and low carbon vehicle technology. The University works closely with UK industry in engine architecture and advanced engine technologies, helping to design the engines and fuels for the future; including hybrid powertrains.

ARAI is India’s premier automotive research and development institute set up by the automotive industry with the Government of India. ARAI is an autonomous body affiliated to the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Government of India and is recognized by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India.

University of Birmingham’s engineering experts will work with ARAI to develop and deliver hi-tech and environment-friendly vehicle systems that will improve transport for people across in India.

The partnership will also see British and Indian air pollution experts working together to create a blueprint to tackle the challenge of particulate emissions in India – looking to develop and deliver solutions identified in the plan.

The partners also plan to support the development of education programmes that will help produce future transport leaders and world-leading research.

Dr. Reji Mathai, Director – ARAI, commented: “ARAI is happy to be associated with University of Birmingham for promoting joint research in upcoming areas such as alternative fuels, e-mobility and air quality.”

Mr N. B. Dhande, Senior Deputy Director for Business Development & Corporate Planning at ARAI and Professor Tim Jones, Provost at the University of Birmingham, signed the agreement.

Professor Tim Jones commented: “Signing this MoU further strengthens our commitment to India and, through this partnership, we are pleased to contribute to the development of impactful transport and environmental research.

“The University of Birmingham has a number of significant partnerships in India, underpinned by its India Institute which aims to increase the visibility, impact and coherence of Birmingham’s engagement in the country.”

The British Deputy High Commission Mumbai was instrumental in bringing together ARAI and the University of Birmingham to draw up the agreement.

Alan Gemmell, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for South Asia and British Deputy High Commissioner for Western India, commented: “The UK wants to be at the cutting edge of green and EV-transport systems and we see a real opportunity to partner with India on this critical agenda - including through this new agreement between the University of Birmingham and ARAI. Last month COP26 President Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP visited India to strengthen our partnership on climate change in advance of the summit in Glasgow this year. The UK was the first major economy to commit to cut emissions to net zero by 2050.”

ARAI undertakes multidisciplinary and collaborative applied research in the field of vehicular exhaust and ambient air quality management. A comprehensive India specific database of vehicular emissions and source profiles has been developed at ARAI and the same is being extensively used by Indian researchers for conducting their studies at various locations.

The organisation undertakes projects on development and evaluation of alternate fuel engines and projects to understand the challenges with the use of alternate fuels, emissions and performance. ARAI also supports automotive and component industry through developmental and certification testing at its Centre of Excellence in E-mobility.

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