Giovanni Bianchi
International Centre for Mechanical Sciences
Giovanni Bianchi

The specific role of CISM, the International Centre for Mechanical Sciences, in the three-year activity of the project has been the institution of advanced courses addressed to researchers and engineers. In the first two years of the project, six courses were held in Hyderabad, at the B.M. Birla Science Centre. CISM selected the experts and the B.M. Birla Science Centre provided the hospitality, taking care of all the technical aspects. In the same period, four courses, instituted by the B.M. Birla Science Centre, were held in Udine. In the final year of the project, which is now drawing to a close, five courses were instituted jointly by CISM and the B.M. Birla Science Centre: three in Hyderabad and two in Udine.

The topics of the courses instituted by CISM have been in the fields of advanced design in mechanical engineering, information technology and environmental problems. The experts selected for the various courses came from the Technical University of Milan, the Universities of Rome, Florence, Padua, Udine, and the ÖFPZ Arsenal in Vienna, leading academic institutions in the various fields.

As was observed at the workshop held in Hyderabad in December 1999, the activity of this co-operation project offered CISM the opportunity, for the first time, to institute a series of courses abroad, in collaboration with a local institution. I remarked that these activities would be not only a transfer of knowledge among scientists - a fundamental factor in the development of science - but also the opportunity to promote direct contacts in the academic and industrial areas in the host country and the partner country.

After three years of activity, we can now summarise some of the positive results obtained. We have seen direct consulting contacts between a mechanical engineering expert from the Technical University of Milan and an Indian company. The University of Udine, the University of Padua, the CISM and the Società Indologica "Luigi Pio Tessitori" have signed memoranda of understanding and agreements with the B.M. Birla Science Centre. Students from India have come to Udine in the framework of a PhD programme. The University of Udine has applied to the Italian Ministry of University for the establishment of a joint Master in information technology to be recognised in Italy and India.

The interest in, and the positive results from, activities in the framework of this EU-India project have stimulated CISM to consider the possibility of participating in future co-operation projects. CISM, given its strictly international structure - a characteristic which I have emphasised at previous workshops - can always guarantee scientific independence. Moreover, the experience of the present project has proved it is possible to establish close relationships of working co-operation with other Italian and foreign institutions.