India: A high level US Innovation Delegation is in India to identify concrete projects for immediate investment and market delivery to address specific needs with goal of US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Singh announcing collaborative activities during Obama’s early November visit. An Indian delegation to the US is planned during December to finalise the projects.
The focus areas of collaboration are Energy: Power Saving Conventional Systems and cooperation in green buildings; Education: Technology for Education and Infrastructure: (a) E-Governance & Innovative Civic Administration (b) Green Manufacturing (c) Low cost mobile technology. An “Innovation Roundtable” jointly organized by the Department of Science & Technology, Confederation of Indian Industry and US Embassy in India to kick-start the initiative, was the first step in the India – US Innovation Forum.
While addressing the Roundtable, Sam Pitroda, Advisor to the Prime Minister, Public Information Infrastructure & Innovations said “democratise information using modern techniques.” He felt Right to Information Act, Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, National Knowledge Commission, National Knowledge Network, etc were some significant innovative initiatives by the Indian Government.
“As a next step we are creating a Public Information Infrastructure that will provide multiple platforms for innovation which include Broadband, Unique Identification Development Authority (UID), Geographical Information System (GIS), Security Applications and Payments. We need to re-think strategies, and create multiple platforms and essentially start the process of democratizing information”, he said at the opening session of the India-US Innovation Exchange Forum jointly organised by the Department of Science & Technology, CII and US Embassy in India.
Dr. T. Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India while addressing the Roundtable mentioned that “India’s Minds-on and US Hands-on is a winning combination to provide innovative solution to the World.” Dr. Ramasami highlighted the ‘GLUE’ component in the India and US relationship which is based upon the Goodwill, Leadership support, Understanding and Engaging partnerships. He mentioned that this partnership has come at the right time as 2010-20 has been declared as the ‘Decade of Innovation’ by the Indian Government. He said, “It is important to recognise the process and purpose of innovation and both the countries have a responsibility of making innovation accessible and affordable to the masses.”
A strategic dialogue which is globally engaging and helping rural and urban areas is what the US is looking for said Aneesh Chopra, Chief Technology Officer, The White House, Washington DC. He further added that brainstorming could come up with creative ideas which can leverage each others’ strengths. He stressed upon the importance of green technology and education to incorporate technology for global engagement.
Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry emphasised that global collaborations in both public and private sector would be the key to sustenance and growth in future. He mentioned that CII has taken several initiatives to boost Industry investment in R&D. CII in partnership with the Department of Science & Technology has been implementing Government’s bilateral / multilateral industrial R&D programmes under GITA– Global Innovation & Technology Alliance an initiative, led by Dr. Ramasami.