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India, Germany Explore AI in Healthcare, Sustainability

The Indo-German Science and Technology Centre (IGSTC) has proposed setting up a joint artificial intelligence (AI) initiative for start-ups, research, and applications in healthcare and sustainability. The two sides have started mapping each other’s strengths in AI health applications, according to a government report.

At a recent meeting, the Indian Minister for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh, said that India and Germany’s science and technology relations have made great strides in the past few years. He stated the two countries are collaborating on electric mobility, cyber-physical system, quantum technologies, future manufacturing, green hydrogen fuel, and deep ocean research. India and the German Research Foundation (DFG) have agreed to explore opportunities for bilateral cooperation in form of funding Indo-German research projects. They also agreed to consider initiating International Research Training Group (IRTG) programmes with other scientific departments.

The officials claimed that the scope of work in AI is vast and for which experts from both sides have already met. To further cooperation in the area, a call to invite proposals from Indian and German research groups has been launched. The officials also agreed to develop a common mechanism to harmonise the data protection regulations for scientific research funding between the countries.

At the meeting, Singh mentioned that the government has taken several steps to use quantum computing to address India-specific problems. For instance, the government launched the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) to create a strong foundation and a seamless ecosystem for CPS technologies by coordinating and integrating nationwide efforts encompassing knowledge generation, human resource development, technology and product development, and commercialisation.

The adoption of quantum technologies across industries has the potential to add US$280-US$310 billion of value to the Indian economy by 2030, as per a recent report. The uptake by Indian companies is also poised to grow by 45%. The manufacturing, high-tech, banking, and defence sectors are expected to be forerunners in terms of quantum technology adoption for critical and large-scale use cases.

The Indian quantum ecosystem is developing significantly, with 10-15 government agencies, 20-30 service providers, 15-20 startups, and 40-50 academic institutions operating in the field. Out of the almost 100 quantum projects launched in the country, the government funds approximately 92%. The rise in cloud hyperscalers is also making quantum technology more accessible on the cloud. In India, the adoption of quantum computing technology in companies is about 1-2%. This is forecast to increase to 35-45% over the next ten years.

Germany is among the several countries India is working with to advance innovation and research in AI and quantum computing. In March, India and Finland worked out a detailed plan to establish an Indo-Finnish Virtual Network Centre on Quantum Computing. Last month, India and Israel held a two-day workshop that explored photonics-based quantum computing, sensing, encryption, quantum magnetometry, atomic clocks, and free-space quantum communication.

The concluding session was a brainstorming meeting to formulate a roadmap and evolve specific areas of collaboration. Most recently, India and the United States agreed to engage in new talks on AI in defence, space cooperation, and public health. They plan to launch an inaugural Defense Artificial Intelligence Dialogue and expand joint cyber training and exercises.

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