India & South Korea to cooperate on biotechnology, bioeconomy

India and South Korea on 9th July signed five MoUs in the field of Science and Technology which included the programme of cooperation 2018-21; establishment of Future Strategy Group; and Cooperation in biotechnology and bioeconomy

The Union Minister for Science & Technology, Dr Harsh Vardhan and the South Korean Minister for Science, Mr You Young-Min signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Science & Technology, in New Delhi on July 09, 2018. The DG, CSIR, Dr Girish Sahni and Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary, DBT are also seen.

New Delhi: India and South Korea have signed five memorandums of understanding (MoUs) in the field of Science and Technology.

Among the five, Union Minister for Science & Technology, Dr Harsh Vardhan and his South Korean counterpart, Mr You Young Min signed three MoUs for ‘Programme of Cooperation 2018-21’, ‘Establishment of Future Strategy Group’ and ‘Cooperation in Biotechnology and Bioeconomy’.

Two other MoUs were signed between Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), and South Korean National Research Council for Science & Technology and IIT Mumbai and Korea Institute of Science &Technology. The MoUs were signed at the conclusion of the 4th India-Korea Science & Technology Ministers Steering Committee Meeting.

Especially in the area of biotechnology, the New Delhi and Seoul have agreed to extend cooperation in health and medicine, agro-fishery products developed with the adoption of biotechnology; environment-related challenges and developing environmental and energy sectors through bio-technology, big data biotechnology; bio-research resources; synthetic biology, genome editing and microbiomes, etc.

Both countries renewed the ‘Programme of Cooperation in the field of Science and Technology for 2018-21’ to augment the cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation. The MoU on Establishment of Future Strategy Group was signed by Indian Science & Technology and Commerce Ministers, while on the Korean side, it was signed by Science and ICT and Trade Ministers.

In his opening remarks, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “India can lead the newly industrialising countries in developing and adopting affordable technologies and processes, and demonstrate a growth path and low energy consumption pattern that would be more sustainable than that of the industrial countries.”

Mr You Young Min who is part of the official delegation accompanying South Korean President Moon Jae-in, that arrived in New Delhi on 8th July on a three-day visit, appreciated India’s self-reliance in science and technology, especially in the R&D sector and said that both the countries could bring synergy between Korea’s strong manufacturing base and India’s pre-eminence in basic sciences and software sector.

The two Ministers reviewed bilateral S&T cooperation between the two countries since the last meeting of the Steering Committee at Seoul in November 2015. Both Ministers agreed to establish Indo-Korean Center for Research and Innovation (IKCRI) in India, which will act as the hub for systematic operation and management of all cooperative programmes in research and innovation between the two countries including innovation & entrepreneurship and technology transfer.

The Ministers also agreed to establish a Future Strategic Group, which will build a collaborative platform that can utilize the potential of both the countries towards fostering innovation and create impact which is of social and economic good. To begin with, both sides will be co-funding collaborative enterprise-led joint R&D projects covering (i) Digital Transformation (ii) Future Manufacturing (iii) Future Utilities and (iv) Healthcare.