Assam govt signs MoU with IIT Guwahati to set up health research institute


GUWAHATI: In a first such move in the region, the Assam government on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati (IIT-G) to set up a research institute for innovations in the health sector.

The Assam Advanced Health Innovation Institute (AAHII) will be a project with an initial investment of 546 crore and will also have a post-graduate medical college and a 350-bedded multi-speciality hospital.

“This is a historic beginning. Today a public institution and a government have signed an agreement for research on chronic problems in the country’s health sector and find innovative technical solutions for them,” said Dharmendra Pradhan, union minister for education, skill development and entrepreneurship.

The agreement focuses on the intersection of engineering, medical science and industry. There will be research collaborations with leading global universities on stem cell therapy, diagnostics, therapeutics, molecular biology and regenerative medicine

“In the past, the link between academic, policy making and industry was missing. There was no friendship, compatibility or network among these three. It may have been late, but now that link has been established,” said Pradhan.

“Half of the world’s requirements of herbal products can come from the northeast. But for that to happen, everything has to be research-centric. Your research should focus on benefitting the poorest of the poor and the needs of the northeast region,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the institute will emphasize on artificial intelligence, wearable health monitoring devices, bionics, robotic surgery and simulation labs.

“This collaboration between an academic institute and a state government to set up an advanced health innovation institute is a first of its kind step. While our medical colleges primarily focus on clinical aspects, the new institute will focus on tech and research to facilitate innovation in the medical field,” he said.

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