Chetan Maini, founder of Reva Electric Car Co, has been named the first ever 'entrepreneur-in-residence' of Swinburne University of Technology at Melbourne, in Australia's south eastern state of Victoria.
Victoria's Premier Ted Baillieu and Swinburne University of Technology's Vice-Chancellor Professor Linda Kristjanson made the announcement in Bengaluru during the visit of the Victorian trade delegation, one of the largest Australian trade missions, to India this week.
Maini will work closely with Swinburne's faculty of engineering and industrial sciences' associate dean of research Professor Ajay Kapoor. Professor Kapoor leads Swinburne's Electric Vehicle Group that has over 20 Academic staff and 25 PhD students.
Professor Kristjanson and Maini also signed a memorandum of understanding between Mahindra Reva, Swinburne and the Co-operative Research Centre for Advanced Automotive Technology (AutoCRC), yesterday.
This agreement will facilitate research collaboration in the field of electric vehicles, Swinburne said in a statement. The AutoCRC's participants include eight leading vehicle and component manufacturers, two state governments and 10 research institutions.
Professor Kristjanson said Swinburne was delighted to honour Maini in this way. He is the chief of strategy and technology at Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles Pvt Ltd in Bangalore.
"Mr Maini's technical expertise and business acumen will help develop the Swinburne Electric Vehicle Group into a world-leading centre with cutting edge research that can be translated into industrial products, education and training," Professor Kristjanson said.
"Swinburne was the first Australian university - and one of the first in the world - to pursue research and offer taught programmes in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation.
"Through relationships such as those we have forged in India we will continue to drive success and achieve excellence in the pursuit of new ideas and new discoveries."
Maini founded India's first electric car company, Reva Electric Car Co, in 1994, in which the Mumbai-based Mahindra Group acquired a majority stake in 2010.
Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles Pvt Ltd now has the largest deployed fleet of electric vehicles in the world.
The company has won numerous awards, with Maini most recently being named amongst Young Global Leaders for 2011 by the World Economic Forum; awarded The Economist 2011 Innovation Award for Energy and the Environment.
Yesterday Baillieu and Kristjanson announced the launch of a research project aimed at increasing alternative energy transport in India.
(See: India-Victoria electric car use research project launched)