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New FP7 project strengthens cooperation between the EU and India on climate change research

Brussels, 02 June 2009

EU-India S&T cooperation in the field of climate change and glaciology was further  strengthened when a new project was launched this month at an open science seminar in New Delhi. The HighNoon project, funded from the 7th European Framework Programme for Research (FP7) will assess the impact of Himalayan glacier retreat, explore possible changes of the Indian summer monsoon on water resources in Northern India and recommend appropriate and efficient response strategies for adapting to hydrological extreme events such as floods and droughts. The project will last for 3 years and will receive over €3 million funding from FP7. Both European and Indian research institutes are involved in the project.

EU R&D cooperation with India

Stronger and more strategic international cooperation among the EU and India is among the FP7 priorities and in this regard more than 550 Indian research organisations have been involved in applying to FP7. Currently 68 proposals which involve 113 Indian research organisations have been successful in the application process. In addition, 22 high-level fellowships have been awarded to Indian scientists to carry out their research in Europe for 1 to 2 years.

HighNoon project background

The hydrological system of Northern India is based on two phenomena, the monsoon precipitation in summer and the growth and melt of the snow and ice cover in the Himalayas. Increasing greenhouse gases are expected to change these phenomena and, in particular, will have a profound impact on snow cover, glaciers and water resources availability. The HighNoon project aims to assess the impact of these changes and recommend response strategies for adapting to hydrological extreme events

Open Science Seminar

With emphasis on glacier retreat and changes in the Indian climate, the Open Science Seminar (held on 13-14 May 2009) at which the new project was launched, discussed mechanisms for predicting changes to the hydrological cycle, in particular Large Scale Hydrological Models and Regional models which can assist in identifying regions that are vulnerable to changes in the water cycle.  In this context, collaboration with Indian and EU researchers could lead to further model development, coupling some Large Scale Hydrological Models to climate models.

Also this seminar aimed to build on a working partnership between the EU funded WATCH and HighNoon projects and their Indian partners to improve scenarios of demography, land use change, irrigation and other water demands in relation to technological development by exchanging expertise and data. WATCH ( is the core climate-water project, while HighNoon ( focuses on the development of adaptation measures in Northern India and is a collaborative effort between European, Japanese and Indian partner institutes. Both projects aim to provide a greater understanding of water resources in the region as well as outlining strategies for strengthening the incentive for adaptation to hydrological extreme events.

The Open Seminar, and the launching of the HighNoon project, are a direct result of previous contacts built up with Indian authorities.

Links to the HighNoon and WATCH projects:


Gerry Bradley: +32 2 298 44 69

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