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EU Member States and India deepen science and business links

Brussels, 1 June 2012

Ministers for science and research from the European Union and India agreed during talks in Brussels to draw up a strategic agenda in the area of research and innovation and to support it through the creation of a group of senior officials. The aim is to adopt the agenda in the first half of 2013.

The ministerial was held on the margins of a two-day conference ending June 1 that brought together some 200 policymakers, researchers and businesses. Both sides recognised it is important to involve business and other research actors in defining and implementing the agenda. Particular attention will be givento promote cooperation between European and Indian SMEs notably for the co-development and for deployment of affordable and innovative products and services.

Closing the conference on Friday, European Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: "Since 2007, we have pooled 60 million Euro of funding so that our scientists can work together, with coordinated calls for proposals in a range of areas including food and nutritional research, solar energy and water."

She added: "These are certainly great achievements, but we can do even better. With the increased scope of Horizon 2020, and its focus on societal challenges, Indian and European researchers will have many more opportunities to work together."

The Stakeholders Conference and ministerial were the first concrete follow up to the Joint Declaration on Research and Innovation at the EU-India Summit of 10 February 2012.

The ministerial was held under the auspices of the Danish Presidency of the EU. Participants included: Morten Østergaard, Danish Minister for Science, Innovation and Higher Education, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Indian Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences and – representing the past and future EU presidencies - Barbara Kudrycka, Polish Minister of Science and Higher Education representing and Mr. Stavros Malas, Cypriot Minister of Health. The next ministerial will be held in India in 2014.

 

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From left to right: Mr Stavros MALAS, Cypriot Minister for Health; Ms. Barbara KUDRYCKA, Polish Minister for Science and Higher Education; Mr Morten OSTERGAARD, Danish Minister for Science, Innovation and Higher Education; Mr Vilasrao DESHMUK'H, Indian Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences; Ms. Maire GEOGHEGAN-QUINN, Member of the European Commission; Mr R.A. MASHELKAR, President of Global Research Alliance and Advisor to Indian Prime Minister.

 

Since the signature of the EU-India Agreement on Science and Technology Cooperation in 2001, India has become one of the major partners of the EU in the Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development.

India currently ranks 5th both in terms of participation and of total amount of EU financial contribution received. Currently, over 200 Indian partners are involved in 135 projects in the seventh Framework Programme (FP7). These projects were funded with some €337million from the Framework Programme of which some €30million went directly to Indian partners.

Key areas of cooperation with India include Health (55 projects), Environment (35), ICT (28) and Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology (28).

Cooperation includes a number of "coordinated calls", where both partners select and finance participants in parallel in key areas of mutual interest. These include computational material sciences (financial participation of 5M€ each by India and the EU), food and nutrition research (3M€ each) solar energy research (5M€ each) and more recently in water and bio-resources in the context of the EU/MS-India Pilot Initiative (16M€ each).

Mobility and training of researchers is a key aspect of long term EU-India cooperation, with over 350 Indian Researchers currently participating in Marie Curie actions.

More information:
Brussels Communiqué

Contacts:
Michael Jennings, Spokesperson, European Commission, DG Research & Innovation: +32 229 633 88