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India, Canada partner to overcome waterborne illness

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Posted May 7, 2014

Canada and India have joined forces to reduce water-related diseases and improve water quality through a new $3-million (CDN) research partnership.

More than three million children worldwide die from these diseases each year, and almost half are from India. In Canada, more than five million people do not have access to a reliable source of clean drinking water.

A child is sipping water from an open tap in Nagpur, India. Photo: IC-Impacts.

A child is sipping water from an open tap in Nagpur, India. Photo: IC-Impacts.

IC-IMPACTS, the Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence, and the Government of India, through its Department of Biotechnology, have each committed $1.5-million to the new Water for Health partnership.

Water for Health will focus on improving monitoring and management of waterborne diseases, wastewater treatment and impacts on water quality, water purification biotechnologies, biosensors for heavy metals identification, and sustainable wastewater infrastructure and management.

“We are excited and thankful for the opportunity to launch this collaboration,” says Nemy Banthia, CEO and Scientific Director of IC-IMPACTS and a professor in the Faculty of Applied Science at UBC. “We hope that the program will lead to technological breakthroughs that will bring safe drinking water to millions.”

Hosted at the University of British Columbia and in partnership with the University of Alberta and the University of Toronto, IC-IMPACTS is a multi-sector, pan-Canadian centre established through the Canadian Networks of Centres of Excellence.

Detailed information regarding the program and can be found here.

Read an interactive feature story about IC-IMPACTS here.

BACKGROUND

About Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) is one of the leading research organizations for biotechnology in India, and an important funding source for biotechnology.  DBT is mandated to promote large-scale use of biotechnology and to support research, development and manufacturing in the biology industry. DBT also promotes national and international collaborations with academia and industry, and provides supports research and development through the establishment of infrastructure facilities. More information here.

About IC-IMPACTS Centres of Excellence

IC-IMPACTS (the India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability) is the first Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence established through the Canadian Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE).

Created by three of Canada’s leading universities – the University of British Columbia, the University of Alberta, and the University of Toronto – IC-IMPACTS is a pan-Canadian Centre that brings together a large international team of researchers, industry innovators, community leaders, government agencies, and community organizations from India and Canada, to find solutions to the key challenges that affect the quality of life of millions of people in Indian and Canadian communities.

The Centre’s partner-community strategy supports rapid mobilization of new solutions to improve water quality, increase the safety and sustainability of critical civil infrastructure, and improve health across both nations.

Source: University of British Columbia

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