The United Kingdom has emerged as India’s second largest international research and innovation partner. Union Science and Technology Minister Dr Jitendra Singh informed the UK Science Minister, George Freeman in an online meeting held to discuss the green energy collaboration between the two countries and other issues of mutual interest. The India-UK Science & Technology (S&T) collaboration has been growing at a rapid pace and the joint research programme has gone from an almost zero base to close to £300-400 million now, Dr Jitendra Singh added.
The Union Science and Technology Minister underlined the importance of energy efficiency and renewable energy, and shared the India’s initiatives, such as India Solar Alliance and Clean Energy Mission, in this direction. Calling for greater India-UK collaboration in clean and green energy areas, Dr Jitendra Singh said, four technology value chains contribute about half of the cumulative CO2 savings: technologies to widely electrify end-use sectors (such as advanced batteries); carbon capture, utilisation and storage; hydrogen and hydrogen-related fuels; and bioenergy. He said that officials/scientists from both the sides can discuss and explore possibilities of future collaborations in areas like affordable biomaterials, health data science, livestock research, and neuroscience.
The India-UK S&T collaboration covers all aspect of research and innovation from discovery to development to translation. The Science and Innovation Council (SIC), an apex body to review overall bilateral scientific cooperation (except strategic sector) between India and the UK, is held once in two years alternatively in both the countries. The SIC reviews bilateral scientific collaboration between prime Indian organisations, such as Department of Science and Technology, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Earth Sciences, and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, in addition to the Department of Atomic Energy, Indian Council of Medical Research, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Ministry of Education, and Indian Council of Social Science Research, and their counterpart agencies in the UK.