India-EU steering committee to adopt strategic perspective for research

The India-EU joint steering committee on science and technology on Monday agreed to develop and adopt a long-term strategic perspective for collaboration in research and innovation.

The decision was taken at the 13th joint steering committee meeting on science and technology cooperation hosted reecently by the European Commission.

The two sides appreciated the achievements under India-EU science and technology innovation cooperation and decided to create an action-oriented agenda which can be implemented within the agreed timeline.

The meeting was co-chaired by Director-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission (EC), Jean-Eric Paquet, on the EU side and Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, Ashutosh Sharma.

Both sides have shown keen interest for possible cooperation on ICT, in particular the cyber-physical-systems, including artificial intelligence and robotics, circular economy and resource efficiency, electric mobility and sustainable agri-food processing and so on.

The important role of Mission Innovation to concentrate efforts on research and innovation to accelerate the clean energy transition, necessary for a carbon-neutral planet, was underlined, while cooperation on health beyond Covid-19 pandemic areas through global fora was also reinforced.

Both sides also underlined the cooperation on polar sciences and discussed future cooperation under Horizon Europe at the virtual meeting.

The two sides reiterated their commitment to human capital development, including researchers’ training and mobility, based on mutual interests and reciprocal promotion of each other’s equivalent programmes, aiming at a more balanced flow of researchers between Europe and India.

The Indian side presented the key elements of new Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP 2020), which aims to create a fit for purpose, accountable research ecosystem promoting translational as well as foundational research; indigenous development of technology, technology indigenisation; facilitating open science; equity and inclusion.

India proposed Implementation Arrangement (IA) for co-funding future joint projects under India-EU Science, Technology, and Innovation Cooperation to streamline the process of collaboration and to address certain issues on project evaluation, selection, funding, monitoring, and also IPR sharing, data sharing transfer mechanism and so on.

During 2014-2020, 42 collaborative projects amounting to a total of 157 million euro have been funded. The majority of these collaborations took place in the form of flagship calls on water, a new generation influenza vaccine, and smart grids cooperation.

The mobility of researchers from both sides was significantly increased over the years, and cooperation among scientists and research organisations from India and Europe was strengthened.