News Release

Entrepreneurship and urban research the focus of new centre launched in Mumbai by University of Toronto with Tata Trusts

The new centre brings together leading scholars and innovators from Canada and India to develop ground-breaking research and innovation to benefit people in India and around the world

Business Announcement

University of Toronto

The University of Toronto launched The University of Toronto Centre in India today in Mumbai in partnership with Tata Trusts, one of India’s largest philanthropic organizations.

Tata Trusts has been a longstanding collaborator with U of T, supporting researchers across the university to address health care, water, energy and poverty challenges. The new centre will give focus to this collaboration with an emphasis on urban research and entrepreneurship, bringing together leading scholars and innovators from Canada and India to develop ground-breaking research and innovation to benefit people in India and around the world. 


  • As part of urban research at the centre, the University of Toronto School of Cities will establish an alliance to build a network of Canadian and Indian researchers who will collaborate on addressing critical urban issues in India and around the world.
  • The centre’s entrepreneurship hub will help connect innovators and entrepreneurs from U of T and India, offering opportunities to share knowledge and resources and providing access to new markets. 
  • The centre will work closely with Tata Trusts and Social Alpha, an initiative supported by Tata Trusts, to co-ordinate reciprocal student exchanges and competitions, support emerging startups and develop networks in both innovation ecosystems.
  • While the centre will not be a satellite campus it will open doors and create opportunities for students, researchers and startups in both countries. 


As the first expression of the U of T Centre in India, U of T President Meric Gertler announced its launch at a Feb. 1. roundtable in Mumbai on urban transitions, held in partnership with Social Alpha, a multistage innovation curation and venture development platform for science and technology startups supported by Tata Trusts. The roundtable discussion highlighted key challenges faced by Indian cities in their journey towards net-zero emissions, and outlined the role of research-backed deep science innovations in enabling cities to solve for the most pressing environmental challenges of our time.


R Pavithra Kumar, chief programme director, Tata Trusts, says: “Collaboration for development and to magnify the effects of innovation has been at the heart of the Trusts’ strategy to bring about sustainable change for communities who need it the most. This partnership with the University of Toronto and the establishment of the University of Toronto Centre in India will amalgamate new research and innovations with historical knowledge of community engagement to develop skills, address urban environmental and economic issues and develop a model for success that can be replicated across communities in India.”

Meric Gertler, president, University of Toronto, says: “Our faculty are deeply engaged in partnerships with academic and industry leaders here in India and across the globe. The University of Toronto Centre in India will play a vital role in expanding and building on these collaborations, creating new opportunities for scholars and innovators from both Canada and India to share knowledge, collaborate on research and develop solutions to pressing social development and economic challenges.”

Diedrah Kelly, consul-general of Canada in Mumbai, says: “I am pleased to witness the launch of this collaboration between the University of Toronto and Tata Trusts. The focus on urban research will provide great value to both Canada and India, which will grow into engagement between Indian and Canadian innovators, entrepreneurs and researchers. I look forward to following this initiative and the contributions it makes to the shared goal of sustainable economic growth with environmental consciousness.”


  • U of T welcomed more than 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students from India last year, including high-achieving, low-income students through our partnership with Karta Initiative, also one of Tata Trusts’ partners.
  • More than 300 U of T students travelled to India for academic, research and professional experience over the past five years.
  • U of T has an ongoing educational partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay that includes the Indo-Canadian Entrepreneurship Exchange, an exchange program that aims to develop a two-way innovation talent pipeline.
  • U of T partners in IC-IMPACTS, the only Research Centre of Excellence dedicated to the development of scientific collaboration between the academic and corporate sectors in Canada and India.
  • The India Innovation Institute at the Rotman School of Management is a hub for researchers focused on how India is using innovation to transform itself
  • The Canada India Initiative on Sustainable Rural Development (CIISRD) is a joint multidisciplinary research effort between U of T’s Centre for Global Engineering (CGEN) and the Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA) at IIT-Bombay, which tackles pressing issues of sustainable development in India such as sanitation, nutrition, and water supply.
  • A partnership between U of T, IIT-Bombay and the Pune Smart City Development Corporation Ltd. to find technology-based “smart solutions” for the city of approximately six million.


Since inception in 1892, Tata Trusts, India’s oldest philanthropic organization, has played a pioneering role in bringing about an enduring difference in the lives of the communities it serves. Guided by the principles and the vision of proactive philanthropy of the founder, Jamsetji Tata, the Trusts’ purpose is to catalyse development in the areas of health, nutrition, education, water, sanitation and hygiene, livelihood, digital transformation, migration and urban habitat, social justice and inclusion, environment and energy, skill development, sports, and arts and culture. The Trusts’ program, achieved through direct implementation, partnerships and grant making, are marked by innovations relevant to the country.


Founded in 1827, the University of Toronto is Canada’s best university and Top 20 globally, with a long history of challenging the impossible and transforming society through the ingenuity and resolve of its faculty, students, alumni and supporters.

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