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India Pilot Initiative

The India Pilot Initiative on water and bio-resources challenges was launched at the Delhi EU/MS-India Stakeholders conference in November 2010. As one of the components of the India pilot initiative, the Commission launched in July 2011 two water-related coordinated calls with India with a total budget of €32m funded equally by the two sides. As a result, some MS/AC intensified their cooperation activities with India in the field of water and bio-resources.

To bring the process to a higher, more comprehensive and strategic level, SFIC decided in 2011 to work on a draft strategic agenda outlining a broader range of common challenges, objectives, priority areas and instruments for EU/MS-India cooperation for the coming years.

This policy development process received a boost at the EU-India Summit on 10 February 2012, when, at the initiative of the Indian side, a joint declaration on research and innovation PDF icon was signed. The Joint Declaration aims at enhancing the scale, scope and impact of cooperation and at building an "Indo-European research and innovation partnership", with a focus on common societal challenges and enhanced synergies between India and the EU.

A ministerial meeting took place in Brussels on 31 May 2012 hosted by the Danish Presidency of the European Union with the participation of Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Morten Østergaard, Danish Science and Innovation Minister, Shri Vilasrao Deshmuk'h, Indian Minister of 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 Stavros Malas, Cypriot Minister of Health.

Ministers agreed on a Brussels communiqué which called for i) jointly define the scope and develop a Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda - a White Paper, ii) Establish a Group of Senior Officials (GSO) and iii) setting up an industry-driven India-Europe stakeholder group for research and innovation.

In parallel to the ministerial meeting over 200 European and Indian stakeholders from the public and private sectors gathered in theEU/MS-India Stakeholders' conference in Brussels on 31 May - 1 June 2012 at a conference organised by DG Research and Innovation to discuss common challenges, priority areas and instruments to boost Europe-India cooperation in research and innovation.

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 important area for developing links between our research institutions is the mobility and training of researchers (currently 300 Indian Researchers participate in Marie Curie actions).


Related Events

31 May - 01 June 2012, Brussels
European Union /Member States Conference - The Indo-European Research and Innovation Partnership.

Following the Joint Declaration (PDF icon 118 KB) signed at the last EU-India Summit in February 2012, the European Commission DG Research and Innovation, the EU Member States Strategic Forum for International S&T Cooperation (SFIC) and the Indian Department of Science & Technology are pleased to announce that the Indo-European Research and Innovation Partnership Conference has taken place on 31st May and 1st June 2012 in Brussels (Belgium).

The conference page


10 February 2012 New Delhi
Europe and India signed Joint Declaration on Research and Innovation Cooperation.

The European Commission and the Indian Government have signed a Joint Declaration on Research and Innovation Cooperation (PDF icon 118 KB) . 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 by the Commissioner for Trade Karel de Gucht and by Mr. Ashwani Kumar, Minister of State for Science & Technology, on 10 February 2012. 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.

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11-12 November 2010, Delhi
India-EU and Member States Partnership for a Strategic Roadmap in Research and Innovation.

The conference was the first tangible activity of the SFIC EU/MS India Pilot Initiative. The event gathered over 200 policy makers, administrators and stakeholders of research and innovation. It focused on water and bio-resources related challenges, but also discussed bilateral and multilateral instruments, projects and innovation policy and initiatives. The conference clearly demonstrated the positive results that can be obtained thanks to the new Partnership approach of EU countries 'speaking with a coordinated voice' towards a non EU-country. Moreover, it mapped out ideas and put forward recommendations (a blueprint) for the development and implementation of a strategic roadmap in research and innovation between India - EU and Member States.

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