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Bengaluru, 9 October 2018: The European Union has launched a piloting initiative between Europe and India that seeks to bring together innovators, start-ups and incubators from both regions for interaction. The aim is to foster innovation cooperation between India and Europe.
The drive for this initiative comes from the India-EU Summit held in New Delhi on 6 October 2017, where the two leaders agreed, amongst others, to strengthen the cooperation on research, and most important, "to work towards an enhanced cooperation on innovation and technology development aiming at actions strengthening cooperation between European and Indian industries and start-up ecosystems".
The first activity took place in Bengaluru on 8-9 October 2018, where a network of European and Indian Incubators was launched consisting of 10 incubators from Europe and 11 from India. The participants were selected on the basis of their innovative capacity and desire to cooperate with one another. The selection was done in association with the Central government (Department of Science and Technology and Department of Biotechnology, NITI Aayog and Invest India) and with the Karnataka Government, which all welcomed very much the opportunity to strengthen the innovation agenda between Europe and India.
The incubators from India represented a wide geographic spread, from Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, and Mumbai and cover a variety of sectors from agriculture to health to energy. It is understood that information technology is an enabler for all ideas to reach the market. Based on the Indian participants, 10 matchmaking incubators from Europe were invited to meet and exchange ideas over two days in Bangalore. From preparatory discussions, which the European Union facilitated, all incubators welcomed this opportunity to explore ways and means to engage together on innovation.
The networking event provided the opportunity for incubators and accelerators from both regions to develop linkages, co-create products for future and work on a plan of action to engage in collaborative activities in a sustainable way. Over two days, participants learned about each other’s entrepreneurship ecosystems, discuss potential ways to deepen cross-border partnerships and discuss in-depth.
As a result of this collaboration between network participants and with other stakeholders, the mutual understanding of each region’s innovation system and way of doing business was increased among network participants, and supported start-ups in both regions should be able to internationalise more easily.
Ms Signe Ratso, Deputy Director General, Research & Innovation, European Commission, who is visiting India on this occasion said, "Investing in research and innovation is investing in a sustainable future. Innovation is essential to come up with solutions to societal challenges both our regions are facing, be it food security, climate change or clean energy supplies. This intensifying global challenge requires cooperation between Europe and India. The EU-India Incubators and Accelerators Network, we are proudly launching, will create synergies and co-create new innovation to tackle challenges both regions are facing."
Mr Gaurav Gupta, Principal Secretary IT, BT, Tech, Industries, Government of Karnataka commented, “Bengaluru today is a hotbed for emerging technologies in India and this is evident in the interest that several companies from countries across the world evince in the city. We have already had French and Japanese companies setting up collaborative accelerators here and with the European Union bringing in ten incubators, we are confident that this will lead to collaborative innovation and co-creation. From a government perspective, we assure all support and counsel to these incubators.”
The outcome of this event will serve as a source of information for the discussions at the Innovation Platform to be launched in New Delhi on 11 October 2018. At this occasion, a brainstorming session between European and Indian Innovation actors, including the European Union's counterpart in Science and Technology, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), will take place where means to improve framework conditions for international cooperation in innovation between Europe and India.
Europe is a global research and scientific powerhouse
Europe with 7% of the world's population generates 20% of the global research and development in the world.
One third of all high high-quality scientific publications come from Europe.
Out of the 100 best universities, 25 are from Europe.
More data and indicators can be found in the Science, Research and Innovation Report (SRIP) established by the European Commission research and innovation department in Brussels which was released in March 2018. The report analyses Europe's performance in science, research and innovation and the driving factors behind the performance in a global context.
This edition shows that Europe has a unique opportunity to lead the next wave of breakthrough innovation in areas where digital technology meets the physical world. These areas touch all sectors of the economy and society and include among others digital manufacturing, genomics, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things amongst others.
EU Research and Innovation Programme 'Horizon 2020 (2014-2020)
Funding of research and innovation is set in the EU's programme called 'Horizon 2020' which identifies the areas and topics for cooperation for the period 2014-2020.
It funds research in all areas of science and innovation through three pillars:excellent science, industrial leadership, and societal challenges.
Horizon 2020 has been designed to deliver results that make a difference to people's lives. It funds many types of activities, from frontier science to close-to-market innovation. It is implemented through multi-annual work programmes.
In Horizon 2020, substantial support is also provided for innovation activities directly aimed at producing plans and arrangements or designs for new, altered or improved products, processes or services. New forms and sources of innovation with a focus on public sector, social innovation, as well as private sector services and products are also encouraged.
Horizon 2020 is open to participation of entities from across the world, thus Indian researchers, universities, research organisations and enterprises are able to team up with any European partners to participate in call of proposals published on a regular basis in the Horizon 2020 Work programmes.
The latest Horizon 2020 Work programme for 2019 was published on 24 July 2018. For more information, please check out the Horizon 2020 website: https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/ or EU Delegation to India:
Through participation in 'Horizon 2020', Indian participants can gain great benefits from access to excellent talent, knowledge, data and infrastructures and connection to world-leading teams, networks and value chains.
As to funding, participants from India are not automatically eligible for funding. Indian participants have therefore to find the financial resources for their participation in Horizon 2020 collaborative projects unless a co-funding arrangement with the Government of India has been made.