31) ICRISAT signs MOU with Sun Microsystems (11 February 2004)

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Sun Microsystems Inc. to develop a Center of Excellence to promote e-learning under the umbrella of the Virtual Academy for the Semi-Arid Tropics (VASAT).

Dr William Dar, Director General of ICRISAT, said that the collaboration would bring together the expertise of the two institutions to deploy e-learning services to anyone, anytime, anywhere and on any device.

According to Ms Kim Jones, Vice President, Global Education and Research, Sun Microsystems Inc., USA, the MOU with ICRISAT will help Sun to use the fruits of its technology to alleviate poverty in the semi-arid tropics.

As per the MOU, ICRISAT and Sun will jointly work to promote ICRISAT's e-learning services to other international agricultural research institutes under the umbrella of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. Further, they will work to build a network of learning portals with other institutes in India. This would facilitate mutual exchange of contents and services through an open architecture, leading towards the development of an e-learning hub in India.

Together, the two institutions will explore projects on the convergence of e-learning with digital library.

The MOU brings together the strengths of ICRISAT and Sun Microsystems, leaders in their chosen area of work. ICRISAT is one of the 15 international agricultural research institutes, which concentrates on alleviating poverty in the semi-arid tropics through the improvement of agricultural productivity.

Sun Microsystems is a major supplier of technologies for e-learning, having strong partership with leading players of learning solution and renowned universities. It is a major end-to-end technology provider for the scientific research area.

For further information, contact Dr V Balaji at v(dot)balaji(at)cgiar(dot)org.

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