BRICS nations sign ‘Moscow Declaration’ for supporting multilateral science projects

New Delhi, Oct. 30 (ANI): The BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – have agreed for co-investment of resources for supporting multilateral Research and Development (R&D) Projects in mutually agreed areas.

Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan, who led the Indian delegation, signed a joint declaration called ‘Moscow Declaration’ at the third meeting of the BRICS Ministers for Science, Technology and Innovation held in Moscow on October 28.

The declaration reflects BRICS partnership in addressing common global and regional socio-economic challenges, utilising such drivers as science, technology and innovation (STI).

BRICS STI Minister agreed on the collaboration for – (i) cooperation within large research infrastructures, including mega-science projects; coordination of the existing large-scale national programme of the BRICS countries; (ii) development and implementation of a BRICS Framework Programme for funding multilateral joint research projects, technology commercialisation and innovation; (iii) establishment of BRICS Research and Innovation Networking Platform.

BRICS STI Ministers also endorsed a BRICS Action Plan 2015-18 on BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation cooperation. The Work Plan outline detailed modalities of BRICS collaboration in previously agreed thematic areas such as Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Disasters led by Brazil; Water resources and pollution treatment led by Russia; Geospatial technology and its application for development led by India; New and renewable energy, and energy efficiency with focus on Solid-state lightning led by China. This Work Plan also included few new areas for BRICS STI collaboration such as Material science including Nanotechnology and Photonics jointly led by India and Russia; Biotechnology and Biomedicine including Human Health &Neuroscience led by Russia or Brazil; Information Technologies and High Performance Computing led jointly by China and South Africa; Ocean and Polar Science and Technology led jointly by Brazil and Russia.

The meeting also endorsed India’s proposal to host the BRICS Young Scientist Forum Secretariat in India with the Indian Department of Science and Technology as coordinating point.

The idea of creation of the BRICS Young Scientist Forum for youth engagement was mooted by the Indian Prime Minister at the sixth BRICS Summit in Brazil in July 2014. It was also agreed to develop a dedicated Website for the BRICS Young Scientist Forum with an interactive online component to broadcast opportunities and initiative for young STI community in the BRICS Region.

To take this initiative forward, India will be hosting a five-day BRICS Young Scientist Conclave at National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) in Bangalore in March with intent to create BRICS Young Scientists Corps.

The event is seeking 50-75 young STI delegates from BRICS countries. The event will allow BRICS Youth connectivity & networking to harness their knowledge for resolving common societal challenges through research and innovation and strengthen advancement of skill and research competencies of youth primarily in the age group of 22-35 years drawn from science, engineering other allied disciplines.

As outlined in the BRICS Action Plan 2015- 16, a series of of sceintific events will be orginased in 2015-16: (i) holding of BRICS Working Group on Geospatial Technology Application for Development (March, India); second meeting of the BRICS SSL Working Group (November, China); first meeting of the BRICS Astronomy Working Group (December); annual conference “Innovative materials for energy and water saving and environmental protection, new trends in the technological development” (Russia). (ANI)

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