Ohio State officials, including President Michael Drake, traveled to India last month to share public health care expertise at the first Health Sciences Innovation Conference and Trade Show in Mumbai.
The three-day conference, which took place in mid-January, focused on three industries of health sciences: health care, commerce and career, said Dr. Chandan Sen, conference co-chair and associate dean for research at the OSU College of Medicine.
“Talent, science and commerce need to be in one box for (solutions) to be sustainable,” Sen said. “It’s no longer acceptable to do great research and not care about what happens with the solutions you create.”
More than 300 students from both India and OSU, scientists and OSU administrators and alumni gathered at the conference, which featured 120 speakers and more than 100 student research poster presentations. Sen said he and his colleagues examined health care provision and needs in India, and invited health care businesses to the conference to foster relationships.
The conference was organized by the university, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India’s top public health care institution.
“The inaugural OSU-India Health Sciences Innovation Conference and Trade Show was a historic moment for Ohio State,” Drake said in an email. “It reinforced our university’s longstanding ties to India, and gave our faculty and students a chance to develop new partnerships and innovative collaborations.”
William Brustein, vice provost for global strategies and international affairs at OSU, said the university focused on four constituencies with its India Global Gateway: students, faculty, alumni and Ohioans.
Global gateways are offices opened by OSU in foreign countries that exist to foster international relationships and expand opportunities and programs for students, faculty and alumni. OSU also has Global Gateways in Brazil and China.
“When we talk about this health-science conference, it really brought those four constituencies together,” Brustein said, mentioning the students and alumni who attended, as well as the visibility the event provided for OSU.
“The overall objective of our visits (including the conference) is really to position the university for an increase in collaborative programs that are of scientific exchange and research,” said OSU spokesman Gary Lewis. “That conference was an example of how the gateway offices we’re opening can expand research opportunities for our faculty and educational options for our students.”
OSU’s show of its medical expertise is already producing benefits. There is a potential expansion of funding, as well as probable business, research and education relationships with India, Lewis said.
Sen said one of the goals of the global gateways is to bring top-talent students around the world to OSU.
Brustein said international experience, which the global gateways provide, is invaluable for OSU students searching for job or higher education opportunities.
“You will jump ahead in the queue because the world is one in which global experiences are going to make a difference in a way we may not see today, but we will see it tomorrow,” Brustein said.
Sen echoed Brustein’s emphasis on the importance of international experiences.
“I would like for us to be a university that readies people for the world,” Sen said.
Key attendees of the conference included Drake, Indian Health Minister Hon’ble Jagat Prakash Nadda and Mayor of Mumbai Snehal Ambekar.
Drake said he is pleased with the far-reaching impact the global gateways have had throughout the world.
“I’m excited to see how our global gateway initiatives are enabling our brightest minds to create and share knowledge broadly, and improving lives around the world,” he said.