Virginia Tech opens research lab in India

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Virginia Tech has opened a research lab near Chennai, India, the country’s fourth-largest city. Research at the 6,000-square foot laboratory at Amrita Research Park will focus on energy. 

The lab will feature a state-of-the-art wind tunnel where researchers can develop high-efficiency wind turbines. Research will also involve experiments with the reel-to-reel manufacture of flexible, dye-sensitized solar cells, seen as a promising source of renewable energy.

India is the ideal place for such research, Guru Ghosh, vice president for outreach and international affairs at Virginia Tech, said in a statement. "Virginia Tech is setting a team to work that will refine and adapt windmills and solar panels for use in households in rural India. This is vital to reducing poverty where hundreds of thousands of people live off the grid. Uplifting lives in India and elsewhere rests on the world's capacity to produce enough electricity for everyone."

The university originally wanted to set up a graduate campus in India. When Virginia Tech encountered delays in getting regulatory approval, however, school officials decided to establish a research precense in the area instead.

"At this point, there are no plans underway to establish a campus there until the regulatory framework is conducive for foreign educational institutions to offer degrees in India," Ghosh told Virginia Business in an email. 

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