On March 8, 2023 – Mr. Rodrigo Salvado, the Director General of the Operational Partnership Department of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), visited the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) to discuss potential collaborations. During the meeting, he outlined AIIB’s intention to synergize its capacity with the Gates Foundation, providing resources while seeking technical expertise from the Global Water & Sanitation Center @AIT as partners. The discussion also delved into the need to scale innovation through identifying strategies to bridge the gap between early-stage development and expansion.

During his visit, the discussion focused on the importance of collaboration for sustainable development. Dr. Roshan, Deputy Director, Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, expressed his agreement on the need for collaborations to go beyond project specifics. He highlighted the plan to establish a technology and commercialization hub within GWSC, which would facilitate product marketing and future collaborations. The hub aims to promote innovation and sustainable development while leveraging AIIB’s resources and BMGF’s technical expertise.

AIIB aims to create an ecosystem of partners to achieve this goal and capacity building was identified as a critical element of collaboration, with a focus on incorporating smart city, City-Wide Inclusive Sanitation, environmental and social framework of AIIB. The collaborations have the potential to make a significant impact in Asia and beyond.

Participants included AIT’s President, Prof. Kazuo Yamamoto; AIT’s Vice President for Knowledge Transfer, Dr. Naveed Anwar; GWSC’s Co-Director, Prof. Sangam Shrestha; Manager, Dr. Kavinda Gunasekara, Chief Operating Officer; Ms. Isha Basyal, Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Technical Coordinator, Ms. Kimberly Tupaz. They were joined online by Dr. Roshan Shrestha, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) Deputy Director in Global Growth and Opportunity Division, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WSH); GWSC’s Co-Director, Prof. Thammarat Koottatep; AIIB’s Senior Strategy Officer, Mr. Ping Yean Cheah; AIIB’s Senior Investment Operations Specialist (Urban), Mr. Sangmoo Kim; and AIIB’s Investment Officer specializing in Urban, Ms. Yuka Terada.