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Thematic Knowledge Areas

Research 2AIT has been successful in fulfilling its mission of supporting and promoting sustainable development in Asia through the high quality programs in post graduate education, research and outreach. However, the traditional sources of funding are under constraint and there is increasing competition within the region for limited research funds.

Under these circumstances research activities should not reflect the specific academic interests of the individual faculty. Such research only leads to the diffuseness of the research effort with many individual projects generating minimal impact in a variety of fields.

The institute is now in the process of consolidating its research efforts into a few strategic research focus areas. This will lead to interdisciplinary teams of researchers who are internationally competitive and respected. Besides problem solving research, innovative advances in research with the industrial sector will also be pursued.

As a step towards addressing this issue, institute faculty are in the process of developing a few thematic knowledge groups which will develop into world class research programs with the support of conventional developmental supporters and industry.

 The overall objectives of establishing areas of research knowledge groups include:
•    Ensuring that AIT is positioned favorably in the intense international competition for research funds
•    Engendering a climate of intellectual excitement at AIT through regular seminars, discussions, etc.
•    Identifying AIT as a desired location for outstanding doctoral candidates, post doctoral fellows and sabbaticants
•    Equating the name of AIT with excellence in some specific areas
•    Raising the profile of AIT internationally and thereby increase the prospects of generating funds from non-traditional fields
•    Having a critical mass of researchers in these research knowledge areas

The knowledge areas which are being considered are:

  1. Asian model of management with global perspective

  2. ICT4D

  3. Food and aquatic systems

  4. Water management and technology

  5. Urban and rural sustainability

  6. Robotics and Sensor Networks for Intelligent Environment (RSNIE)

 These knowledge areas can be further strengthened by:
  • Creating a common platform of research in these areas within AIT in partnership with industries, national and international research institutions and the governments
  • Provision of incentive to work within these knowledge areas in the core funding from the institute
  • Emphasis on research activity within these thematic groups during the development of the career path namely contract renewal and promotion in rank. The number of proposals submitted
  • Creation of faculty positions within the institute whose role will biased more towards a research scientist rather than teaching class room courses
  • Encouraging activities in these areas which will to lead to more support to student thesis research activity from grants
  • As a consequence of the larger number of projects that may result, the institutes visibility and revenue from such research activities will also be increased.

Task forces have formed in each of the thematic areas and they will provide inputs as regards the strengths of the research groupings and the medium and long term directions each of these research areas are likely unfold in the region and beyond. These inputs will be used to discuss with donors and supporters for strengthening the research activities, so that AIT can continue to play a leading role in the region.

With regards,
Prof. Sudip K. Rakshit
Vice President Research