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New Delhi, 11 October 2018: The European Union has launched a piloting initiative between India and Europe that seeks to bring together innovators, start-ups and incubators from both sides 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 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."
As part of this initiative, an EU platform was launched in New Delhi that brought together European Innovation actors active in India, with the aim of fostering the EU-India innovation partnership through joint initiatives and actions under a 'European banner' that will connect and support European researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs.
In addition, participants had an opportunity to exchange views with a panel of EU and Indian authorities and experts on innovation, taking into account each other's ecosystem and strategic agenda. A panel consisting of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Department of Biotechnology for this occasion represented by BIRAC (the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council, a Government of India enterprise) NITI Aayog and Invest India, outlined the ecosystem in India and the role and modalities for international cooperation on innovation. Several actors shared their experience and best practices in cooperating between Europe and India.
The Platform meeting listened also to the first findings of the meeting of Incubators from Europe and India who met for two days in Bengaluru on 8 and 9 October 2018 and who all welcomed the opportunity to meet and share ideas on how co-creation can improve and be facilitated. Both learned a lot from each other and considered that support for further interaction and matchmaking would be essential.
As a result of this collaboration between network participants and other stakeholders, the mutual understanding of each region’s innovation system and way of doing business increased among network participants.
From the brainstorming session and different working groups constituted under the Platform, some ideas for further action already emerged. The EU is now committed to pursue the dialogue with India both at the level of the innovation actors from private sector and public sector to see how, for example, co-working space for European starts-ups in India could be organised, co-organise European start-up events in India and bring Indian start-ups to Europe and advocate better innovation framework conditions for European innovators to the Government of India.
On this occasion, EU Ambassador Tomasz Kozlowski said that "Expanding the EU-India strategic partnership with the innovation dimension, through the creation of this Innovation Platform, will strengthen further and modernise the cooperation between Europe and India. He added that this Platform will also support and speed up the commitments which the EU and India have taken in the areas of clean energy, circular energy, water partnership or sustainable urbanisation and smart cities."
Ms Signe Ratso, Deputy Director General, Research and Innovation, European Commission, who is visiting India on this occasion said that she was very impressed with what she has seen and learned on the Indian innovation ecosystem and hoped that following this pilot initiative, "the EU will engage in a dialogue with India to see how both sides can take actions to enhance the EU-India innovation partnership as our leaders mandated to do in October 2017. Engaging together in innovation is investing in the future and speed up the need to find solutions to the real-world problems. She added that the EU-India Incubators and Accelerators Network launched in Bengaluru will create synergies and co-create new innovation to tackle challenges both regions are facing."
The innovation activities launched by the European Union will reinforce European presence and visibility in India in the area of Innovation. It will increase the impact of the European Member States innovation activities and foster access of India for European innovators and entrepreneurs and vice-versa.
Ultimately, innovators from India and Europe will be able to work together, jointly find solutions that will tackle global challenges such as water scarcity, climate change, food and energy security.