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India, European Union renew agreement on scientific and technological cooperation

India and the European Union have renewed the agreement on scientific and technological cooperation for the next five years (2020-2025).

The agreement establishes a formal framework for cooperation aiming at encouraging and facilitating activities in science and technology fields of common interest between the European Union and India.

According to a press release, the move was carried out by an exchange of Note Verbale between two sides. The agreement was initially signed on 23 November 2001. Since then, it has been renewed two times-2007 and 2015.

The agreement will expand cooperation and strengthen the conduct of mutually-beneficial activities and applications for economic and social gain.

Cooperative activities may include reciprocal participation in technological developments and projects; the joint organisation of scientific seminars, conferences, symposia, and workshops.

It will also cover concerted actions for the dissemination of results/exchange of experience on joint research and development projects.

The two sides agreed to renew the agreement at the 15th India-EU Summit, a virtual meeting.

The release noted that the two sides have had strong research and innovation cooperation through the agreement, which has grown steadily over the years.

Under the agreement, the sides may exchange and share equipment and materials, including the shared use of advanced research facilities. It also facilitates the exchange of information on practices, laws, regulations, and programs relevant to the agreement.

Over the last five years, the level of co-investment on India-European Union research technology development projects to address societal challenges has been stepped-up.

The challenges include affordable healthcare, water, energy, and food and nutrition.

The progress resulted in several new technologies, patent development, joint research publications, the sharing of research facilities, and the exchange of scientists and students from both sides.

Since its inception, the cooperation has been focused on water, green transport, e-mobility, clean energy, circular economy, bioeconomy, health, and information communication technologies (ICT).

Additional areas, such as climate change, sustainable urban development, manufacturing, advanced materials, nanotechnologies and biotechnology, food processing, and ocean research may also be considered in future endeavours.

The two sides are at the forefront of human development and innovation, the release claimed, for India, addressing the basic needs of its people, including through frugal innovation, and excelling in high-tech markets are twin objectives.

Both areas offer mutually beneficial opportunities. Increased exchanges between students, researchers, and professionals would benefit both sides. India and the European Union share a mutual interest in reciprocal mobility of talent.

The mobility of researchers and innovators would be promoted in both directions. The European Union-India cooperation should also foster innovation by promoting networking between innovators, start-ups, incubators, and accelerators, by setting up joint platforms, both offline and virtual, and engaging in coaching, training, and staff exchanges.

Highly qualified workers could be integrated into Indian and European Union-led innovation systems industries and help maintain technology-based leadership and sharing of best practices, internationalisation of SMEs, and contributing to the global value chain.

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