UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School


UNC Kenan-Flagler and IIM, Bangalore collaborate


indiaThe University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School has received a 2013 Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative award. UNC Kenan-Flagler and the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) will collaborate on the project “Partnering for Success: Advancing Sustainability Research and Education in India.

“Sustainable economic development is a global challenge, but it is especially acute in India, where demands are growing for reliable energy, clean water, sanitation services, and educational and economic opportunities,” said Jayashankar Swaminathan, GlaxoSmithKline Distinguished Professor of Operations and director of the Global Business Center at UNC Kenan-Flagler. “Working in partnership with the highly regarded Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore is a wonderful opportunity for us, and together we will help academics conduct research and create knowledge in sustainable business strategy.”

“UNC Kenan-Flagler and IIMB are leaders in sustainability, and we are especially fortunate to have more than a decade of expertise to share from our Center for Sustainable Enterprise and its director Carol Seagle Hee,” said Julia Kruse, Global Business Center executive director. “Together we will develop the knowledge and talent to promote sustainability: economic prosperity, social equity and environmental stewardship that can be shared broadly with educators."

The Obama-Singh grant of $249,000 will fund two initiatives by UNC Kenan-Flagler and IIMB:

  • Rising Stars Initiative, a reciprocal faculty-in-residence program for junior faculty and doctoral students coupled with an annual mini-grant competition open to young faculty across India
  • Knowledge Impact Initiative, sharing existing curricula and collaborate to create new course materials, and developing and offering an applied-leaning course in which MBA students from UNC Kenan-Flagler and IIMB will provide business consulting to micro-entrepreneurs in the Bangalore area.

The schools will share the new research and curricular innovations in webinars and on a website, and host a symposium at IIMB, where educators will discuss research strategies, share best practices in sustainability curriculum development and create an action plan for future collaboration.

The U.S. State Department announced eight institutional partnership projects for the second round of Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative awards. This initiative strengthens collaboration and builds partnerships between American and Indian institutions of higher education in priority fields. 

In addition to UNC Kenan-Flagler and IIMB, awards went to Harvard School of Public Health and St. Johns Research Institute, Bangalore  Ohio State University and Aligarh Muslim University  University of Massachusetts, Amherst and University of Pune  Annamalai University and Tennessee Technological University  Assam Agricultural University and Washington State University  Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women and University of Minnesota, Minneapolis  National Institute of Technology–Trichy and University of Nevada, Las Vegas.   

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama announced the Obama-Singh Initiative in 2009 to enhance an India-U.S. education partnership, and each government pledged $5 million.