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Oxford varsity seeks tie-up with India

The Hindu BusinessLine:  March, 2014

Chennai: The University of Oxford has approached the Indian Government seeking collaborations in medical technology research and training. J. Alison Noble, Director, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Oxford, told Business Line that to address “an acute shortage” of biomedical engineers in the UK and evolve cost-effective models of healthcare delivery — such as an easily operable ultrasound machine — Oxford wants India to part-fund some projects,

She was at a workshop on Indo-UK collaboration opportunities in medical technology here on Tuesday.

Small companies in the UK make a substantial portion of the £15-billion medical technology industry in which 3,100 companies work on novel technologies to assist hospitals cut costs and improve treatment. “Small firms help the big ones test out new methods till the point of commercialisation,” she added.

She said Indian expertise in developing low-cost machines and operating high-tech medical equipment will help the industry back home.

In this regard, the university has also begun talks with the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.

“We are planning to make it a student exchange programme. We are particularly interested in imaging technology that can predict premature births.”

She added that university spin-offs — research ventures that branch off from colleges as companies — is common in her country, and the Indian Government should fund researches by hospitals and universities to bring new technologies in healthcare.