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Ohio State-India meeting to expand opportunities

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Ohio State’s first Health Sciences Innovation Conference is set to be held in India next year.

The conference, scheduled for Jan. 15 through 18, 2015, is meant to focus on the high-speed development of the biotech and health sciences industry in India with the goal of fostering partnerships between OSU faculty and other Indian academic institutions, according to the Office of International Affairs website.

The All India Institute for Medical Sciences is hosting the conference with OSU.

William Brustein, vice provost for Global Strategies and International Affairs, said OSU has been working on partnering with Indian enterprises and institutions since 2012, when the OSU India Gateway office opened in Mumbai.

“We had a number of individuals who represented the health sciences with us during that trip,” Brustein said.

The Global Gateway program aims to give OSU a presence in selected countries by providing students, alumni and faculty opportunities for networking, studying abroad and conducting research, according to its website. There are currently offices in Shanghai and Mumbai, and OSU is set to open an office in São Paulo by early fall 2014.

Brustein said the 2015 conference is one of the achievements from the Gateway partnership.

“Now this conversation has evolved to the point where we decided it would make sense to put on this major conference in January of 2015 that would address the interests of India enterprises, in pharmacy, in biotech and regenerative medicine,” Brustein said.

Brustein also said this cooperation could benefit both OSU and India.

Yong Chen, a Ph.D. student in chemistry, said he thinks the conference will be valuable to OSU.

“We have so many students from India at Ohio State, and I believe once OSU hosts this conference in Mumbai, it will have immediate effects on increasing (the number) of students from India,” Chen said.

Chen also said he remembers OSU having a similar conference in China, where he is from.

“We had the same thing in China, and it attracted many students to apply (to) OSU,” Chen said.

Brustein said the health issues affecting India and the U.S. are issues affecting the world at large.

“It is a good match for our researchers and researchers in India to get together, to work together, to address these major health issues because those health issues are truly global,” Brustein said. “They affect India but they also affect the United States.”

Chandni Pawar, a fourth-year in chemistry, said she likes the idea of the health sciences conference.

“I think in terms of especially technologies and sciences, (that) OSU (is) going to the country of my family is kind of amazing,” Pawar said.

Brustein said he hopes OSU students take advantage of the opportunity the conference provides.

“Because having students involved, both undergraduate and professional graduate students, is important here, hopefully we will be able to use some of the money that we have from the (India) Gateway and from the health sciences to fund some of the students to go over from here to participate,” Brustein said.

Brustein said he sees the conference as a source of job opportunities for students as well.

“I see this conference as, again, opening those doors further in building relationships with industries, particular(ly) in (the areas) of biotech and pharmacy in India, as well as here in central Ohio, that could lead to internships, that could lead to jobs, but that also could leads to investments, research initiatives,” Brustein said.

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