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India, Brazil collaborate on AI, healthcare and energy

The Minister for Science, Technology, and Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan, discussed a range of scientific and technical issues and possible multilateral collaborations with a high-level delegation led by the Brazilian Minister for Science, Technology, and Innovation, Marcos Cesar Pontes.

The deliberations focused on India- Brazil collaboration in the areas of healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and COVID-19 vaccines. The two sides will also cooperate on biotechnology, energy, nanotechnology, information communication technologies (ICTs), artificial intelligence (AI), and cybersecurity.

The countries agree to monitor biomes and agricultural areas, oceans, water quality, air quality, and atmospheric pollution by satellite. Further, they will develop earth system modelling for weather forecasting and climate change.

According to a press release, the Indian Minister informed his counterpart that a series of scientific events have been planned, which will be steered and coordinated by India as Chair of BRICS in 2021. India is also keen to collaborate with Brazil in atmospheric sciences, renewable energy, low-carbon technologies, agriculture, cyber-physical systems, pollution, circular economy, space, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

The Minister emphasised that the mobility of researchers is key for the success of any collaboration. The project-based mobility for researchers and students needs to be increased to build long-term strategic collaboration and networking among the scientists and research organisation of both sides.

Under the ‘Vaccine Maitree’ mechanism proposed to make safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines available at affordable prices to the highest risk populations, India is committed to providing supplies of vaccines to partner nations. Last month, Brazil received two million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from India.

The Brazilian Minister noted that the side was keen to collaborate with and receive technical help from India to prepare for the future and also tackle situations like the recent pandemic. Both sides acknowledged the ongoing collaboration between the two countries in the fields of science, technology, and innovation at the meeting.

Recently, India announced it will collaborate with the European Union (EU) to develop and adopt a long-term strategic perspective for research and innovation. The India-EU joint steering committee on science and technology said that it plans to accelerate the clean energy transition, necessary for a carbon-neutral planet. Cooperation on health beyond COVID-19 pandemic areas through global fora was also reinforced.

Both sides underlined the cooperation on polar sciences and discussed future cooperation under Horizon Europe. They also reiterated their commitment to human capital development, including researchers’ training and mobility, based on mutual interests and the reciprocal promotion of each other’s equivalent programmes, aiming at a more balanced flow of researchers between Europe and India.

As OpenGov Asia had reported, the Indian side presented the key elements of the new Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (STIP 2020). The policy aims to create a fit for purpose, accountable research ecosystem promoting translational and foundational research, the indigenous development of technology, and facilitating open science, equity, and inclusion.

India also proposed Implementation Arrangement (IA) for co-funding future joint projects under the India-EU science, technology, and innovation cooperation to address certain issues on project evaluation, selection, funding, monitoring, and IPR sharing/data sharing/materials/equipment transfer mechanisms.

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