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Europe and India sign Joint Declaration on Research and Innovation Cooperation

Brussels, 10 February 2012

The European Commission and the Indian Government have today signed a Joint Declaration on Research and Innovation Cooperation. The Declaration provides an opportunity to step up relations between Europe and India towards an "Indo-European Research and Innovation Partnership".  The Declaration was signed at the EU-India Summit in New Delhi by the Commissioner for Trade Karel de Gucht and by Mr. Ashwani Kumar, Minister of State for Science & Technology.

Research and innovation cooperation plays an important part in the overall relationship between Europe and India. Research and innovation are key pillars for creating sustainable growth and new jobs as part of the Indian ‘Decade of Innovation’ and the ‘Europe 2020’ strategy and the ‘Innovation Union Flagship Initiative’.

As Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, said: "This joint declaration will boost an Indo-European alliance for research and innovation.  We have great potential to make our joint research efforts more effective, in order to promote the innovation needed to tackle societal challenges we all face, such as food security and climate change.  Research and innovation are also proven investments in growth and jobs in this difficult period for the global economy."

This Joint Declaration will further strengthen the existing cooperation under the umbrella of the EU-India S&T Cooperation Agreement signed in 2001. The Declaration will also move cooperation up a gear towards building an 'Indo-European Research and Innovation Partnership' by: (i) improving the scale, scope and impact of cooperation actions (ii) focussing on common societal challenges, and (iii) building on the synergies between India, the EU and its Member States.

Background
Cooperation with India in the context of the FP7 is increasing compared with FP6, not only through the bottom up opening of our programmes but also through targeted actions, including coordinated co-funded calls. India ranks number 5  in terms of number of applications in FP7 (1275 applicants from India). Indian researchers are participants in 182 short listed proposals (out of which 135 signed grant agreements, compared to 97 contract agreements signed in FP6). Most successful FP7 priority areas with India are: Health (51 grant holders), Environment (35), ICT (27) and Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology (15). Another area important for developing links between our research institutions is the mobility and training of researchers (currently 300 Indian Researchers participate in Marie Curie actions).

The EU-Member States partnership for international science and technology cooperation was launched by the Council in December 2008.  Since then the EU-Member States and India have launched a series of activities to enhance their cooperation on research and innovation. With the new Indo-European Research and Innovation Partnership we intend bringing this process to a higher level by developing a more comprehensive "Indo-European Research and Innovation Partnership" by the end of the year.

For more information:
EU-India Research and Innovation Cooperation
Statement by President Barroso following the signing ceremony of agreements in the India-EU Summit: 
EU-India summit IP

Contacts:
Jean-Michel SERS,  jean-michel.sers@ec.europa.eu Tel: +32 2 2967349
Diego SAMMARITANO, diego.sammaritano@ec.europa.eu Tel: +32 2 2990023
Tonia JIMENEZ, maria-antonia.jimenez-nevado@ec.europa.eu Tel: +32 2 2992192