The Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, recently announced a partnership with a French company that specializes in aerospace, defence and security. The tie-up will entail sponsored research by faculty at the two institutes. As the first step in the collaboration, IIT-D faculty and Safran will work on a project to increase computational efficiency at the chip level. At IISc, the organization is going to work closely with the Supercomputer Education and Research Centre and assist one of its start-ups, Morphing Machines, dealing in fabless semiconductor IP and products. "The intent is to take this partnership to higher levels of cooperation to conduct joint research and even award joint degrees with the company, if possible, in the future," said Mary Mathew, professor, management studies, IISc. She also invited Safran to consider setting up a research centre at IISc. According to Anil Wali, managing director of the foundation, which acts as an interface between businesses and academia, it is important to engage with industry to keep an institution abreast of the latest developments in the field. "We are also setting up science parks to promote research and development. These science parks will not be purely commercial entities, but will focus on a specific research area," he says. "Some of the faculty members in the department of electrical engineering expressed interest in carrying out research in the areas highlighted by Safran," explains Wali. "This is our first brush with the company and we hope that it will serve as a model for deeper engagement in the future."