SUNRISE Launch Meeting
The recent SUNRISE launch in Pune on the 26th to 28th of March was a great success. Investigators and stakeholders gathered from institutions across the UK and India to present their research and discuss the future of the project. The event was held across three days at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) thanks to the hospitality of Professor Satish Ogale.
Upon arriving at IISER on the Monday we all received a warm welcome from Satish and his students. Opening the event was a series of inaugural talks from Professor Jayant Udgaonkar, director of IISER, Mr Arunavo Mukerjee of Tata Cleantech Ltd., Professor Satish, and Professor David Worsley of Swansea University.
The day then proceeded with several presentations from the senior scientists of our academic partners, all giving fascinating glances into their innovative research into solar cells and other sustainable technologies. Speakers included representativies from IIT New Delhi, IIT Bombay, IISc Bangalore, JNCASR, NPL India, CSIR-IICT, IITK, Swansea University, University of Oxford, Imperial College London, and University of Cambridge.
A delicious meal at the university generously provided by IISER was a pleasant end to a very successful first day.
Day two began with a special trip to visit a village an hour and a half outside of Pune. The experience provided the team with a valuable insight into the kinds of opportunities and challenges that could arise from installing solar power to communities in more rural locations. We all felt honoured to have been welcomed into their community; especially memorable were the interactions with the schoolchildren. Seeing for ourselves how much access to solar technology could improve the education of children in villages such as this one served as a reminder to the team of the potential practical value of their research.
In the afternoon we returned to the university with renewed energy for the work package discussions followed by a tour of the laboratories at IISER.
On the third and final day we spent the morning hearing the junior academic presentations and PhD student project summaries. The prize for best PhD summary was awarded jointly to Swati Parmar of IISER and Suhas Mahesh of the University of Oxford for their excellent presentations. After a valedictory from Profesor Trystan Watson and Satish Ogale we said our goodbyes with plans to meet again later this year in the UK.
The first SUNRISE meeting could not have been a more positive experience. Once again, we are grateful for the wonderful hosting from Satish that made the event possible. The launch was an excellent opportunity for networking and forming the beginning of an alliance that is sure to be long-lasting.