Tech Summit 2016: India-UK cooperation driven by ‘high impact’ research partnerships

There were massive deliberations between counterparts from India and United Kingdom on host of technological challenges cutting across various sectors including healthcare, energy and agriculture

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The Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi addressing the India-UK Tech Summit, in New Delhi on November 07, 2016.

New Delhi: The India-UK Tech Summit that was envisaged during the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK in November last year to reinforce the friendship between India and the UK. It also marks the high point commemorating 2016 as the ‘India-UK Year of Education, Research and Innovation’.

Welcoming the Prime Minister of UK to the Tech Summit, PM Modi mentioned during his inaugural speech, “It is a privilege that Theresa May, the Prime Minister of United Kingdom has joined us at this event. Madam Prime Minister, I am aware that India has always been close to your heart and you have been a great friend of India. Recently you celebrated Diwali at your home with members of the Indian community!”

PM Modi in his speech pointed towards the fact that in current global environment, two countries face several economic challenges which directly affect trade and commerce. “But I am confident that together we can leverage our scientific strengths and technological prowess to create new opportunities,” he said.

Talking in particular about the scientific research cooperation, Mr Modi informed, “The present India-UK cooperation in science and technology is driven by ‘high quality’ and ‘high impact’ research partnerships. I am glad to mention that in less than two years’ time under the ‘Newton-Bhabha’ program we have started wide ranging collaborations covering basic science to solution science aimed at addressing societal challenges.”

“Together, our scientific communities are working on new vaccines for infectious diseases, inventing new smart materials, providing solutions for clean energy and climate change mitigation, and improving crop productivity including agriculture and food security.”

“I feel that India and UK can partner in harnessing the vast traditional knowledge base in India coupled with modern scientific investigation to provide a holistic approach to preventive healthcare. This can help address some of the modern life style diseases that we face,” said the Prime Minister.

India’s partnership with UK in industrial research has been one of our most exciting programs. The Global Innovation & Technology Alliance or GITA platform of CII and Department of Science and Technology along with Innovate-UK supports industry led R&D projects in affordable healthcare, clean technology, manufacturing and ICT.

Both the countries have agreed to establish India-UK Clean Energy R&D Centre on solar energy with joint investment of 10 million pounds. A new anti-microbial resistance initiative with joint investment of 15 million pounds is also being launched.

These sectors open new potential for Indian and UK businesses to convert the scientific knowledge into technology based enterprises. PM called upon all the participants here to contribute and value-add to these exciting bilateral programs, aimed to foster innovation and techno-entrepreneurship.

“The Department of Science and Technology and the Confederation of Indian Industry for organizing this signature event with United Kingdom as the partner country. I am confident that the Tech Summit will lay the foundation for the next phase of India-UK relationship. It will take us together into a journey based on shared scientific knowledge and technological prowess,” concluded PM Modi.