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India and UK have agreed to work as R&D partners in Solar Alliance and Nano Material Research

Following the 5th Indo-UK Science and Innovation Council Meeting (SIC) held at London on 15th June 2016, Dr. Harsh Vardhan Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Government of India informed that India and UK have agreed to work together in two major initiatives:

  • As a part of commitment to the solar alliance, establish India-UK Networked Centre on Solar Energy linked to India’s renewable energy mission and UK’s Supergens Program. The research projects will focus on systems level design and development covering Solar energy generation, Storage systems and Grid integration particularly for micro-grid systems. India would be investing Rs 50 crores over  a period of five years with matching contribution from Research Council UK under Newton Bhabha program.
  • Access to Indian researchers to the Neutron Scattering facility of the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxford.  This unique facility based on the use of neutron scattering and muon spectroscopy is a world class facility at Oxford to carry out fundamental research on understanding wide range of matter at fundamental level. As a part of the Nano mission program of DST would be investing Rs 26.5 crores. Tthis will help to enhance Indian capability to fabricate structures at the nano scale level for creating interesting and technologically important materials through research in fundamental science.

The SIC is the apex body which oversees the entire gamut of the India-UK science, technology and innovation cooperation and meets once in two years. The today’s meeting was co-chaired by Dr Harsh Vardhan, along with Mr Jo Johnson, Minister for Universities & Science. The last meeting of the SIC was held in New Delhi in Nov. 2014 during which both countries had launched the Newton-Bhabha Program to support the bilateral S&T cooperation.

Since then the two governments have given a substantive boost to our collaborations in science, technology and innovation. The relationship has transformed into a true partnership based on mutual trust, reciprocity and parity, covering a wide gamut of basic and applied research.

Currently, the value of investment in Indo-UK research and development cooperation from multiple Indian and UK agencies exceeds 200 million pounds of co-funding. UK stands amongst the top three collaborating countries in science and technology with India.

Both nations have now agreed to address grand societal challenges on food, energy and water security; health and well-being; smart cities and rapid urbanisation with increasing access and sharing of expertise, resources and facilities. The cooperation is aimed to yield high quality and high impact research outputs targeted towards addressing societal needs and of industrial relevance.

Under the Newton-Bhabha Programme two sides also agreed on the following:

  • . Collaborative program on Energy Efficiency in Built Environment as a part of the Smart Cities mission. Both the countries have agreed on common research agenda focused on, Energy efficient building envelop; Low energy cooling; and Thermal comfort as well as energy efficient technologies for city and community level.
  • Augmenting the India-UK Centre of Advanced Manufacturing through DST-RCUK cooperation linked to the Make in India Program and UK’s Catapult Centre program. The projects will be designed to deliver industry relevant results that can be readily applied to current challenges in manufacturing supply chain.
  • In the area of life and health sciences the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), India and the BBSRC agreed to continued support to the virtual joint centres on Agricultural Nitrogen. The two agencies are also supporting research collaboration under Global Research Partnership in Aquaculture. In the area of health sciences the focus is to address health needs of women and children. 
  • Water Quality Research: Department of Science and Technology and Natural Environment Research Council will initiate a collaborative research program to improve water quality in India.  The program would address natural geogenic containments such as arsenic and fluoride in ground water and also man made pollutants (pharmaceutical and personal care products).  This program is being developed to support implementation of the goals of the National Mission for Clean Ganga.   
  • The industrial R&D program was initiated in 2014 to support industry led projects aimed to develop new IP, technologies, processes and prototypes under the translation strand of the Newton Bhabha program. In addition to the five ongoing projects, five new projects were identified for support in the areas of affordable health care, clean technology, electronic design and internet of things.
  • Besides the Newton Bhabha programs, two countries have been involved in promoting partnerships through the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (ULKIERI). Acknowledging the success in building new scientific partnership through R&D projects and networking the two governments concluded the implementation arrangement for the Phase III (2016-2021) of the UKIERI.
  • The Ministry of Earth Sciences, India and NERC-UK are working on large observational campaign involving UK aircraft, Indian ships accompanied by surface observations primarily to address role of small scale processes to address variability of Indian monsoon leading to improved prediction of monsoon from short range to seasonal time scale. 

 

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Jun 16, 2016
 
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