Delegation of the European Union to India and Bhutan

The EU & India: two scientific powerhouses that will prosper through cooperation on Research & Innovation

New Delhi, 23/01/2019 - 06:09, UNIQUE ID: 190123_2
Press releases

'In varietate concordia’: EU-India research and innovation cooperation – united in a diversity of approaches and objectives

The EU & India, two scientific powerhouses that will prosper through cooperation on R&I


Each year almost 50,000 Indian students form the vanguard of international research cooperation at European Universities, from Lisbon to Helsinki, resulting in an exchange of ideas and cultures between EU and India, which also propels both sides forward in a common quest for knowledge and innovation. To increase scientific excellence and address common societal challenges, the EU and India are committed to scaling up collaboration on science, technological development and innovation. The EU’s main instrument to realise this is its Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, 'Horizon 2020' (2014-2020). In it, third country participants, including India, are offered opportunities for research and innovation cooperation with European and international partners. Indian universities, research institutes, SMEs, NGOs and individual researchers can team up with any European partner to participate in Horizon 2020 projects and make the best use of Europe’s scientific excellence and technological development.

India already has a good track record of successful cooperation with the EU, in particular when it comes to obtaining mobility grants under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCAs): since the beginning of Horizon 2020 until December 2018, 946 Indian researchers have been able to develop their research careers at some of the best European institutions, allowing them to advance their careers through transnational and interdisciplinary research. India is also performing well under the European Research Council (ERC), with about 30 Principal Investigators who have managed to crack an ERC grant under Horizon 2020.

When it comes to collaborative research projects under Horizon 2020, the joint call on water is a standout example of research cooperation between India and the EU. The call aims at finding solutions to the increasing stress on water resources in India through the transfer of European water technologies, and has so far resulted in 5 high calibre projects that will start in February 2019. Their focus is the development of novel solutions for the purification of drinking water and wastewater management, and the development of sensors to monitor and implement the results. These projects will also lead to good business opportunities for both Europe and India.

Another highlight is the ongoing joint call for a next generation vaccine against influenza. Both the EU and the Government of India (GOI) / Department of Biotechnology (DBT), have committed a total of EUR 30 million in funding, with the goal of advancing the efficacy and safety of vaccination, the duration of resulting immunity and the vaccine’s reactivity against an increased breadth of influenza strains. Projects applying for funding under the call must have a minimum of three applicants from Europe as well as a minimum of three applicants from India. The deadline of the call is on 16 April 2019.

Besides participation in such joint calls, Indian entities can, based on the Horizon 2020 principle ‘Open to the World’, participate in all calls published under the Horizon 2020 Work Programmes – although for collaborative projects, Indian entities are not funded by Horizon 2020. Hence, own funding has to be provided, unless the GoI has agreed in advance to co-fund the successful Indian participants. This is currently the case for 15 calls on health and bioeconomy under the mandate of the DBT and one call on Climate Change and the Artic by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). (For more details, see Country Page on India.)

Horizon 2020 – ‘Open Innovation, Open Science, Open to the World’: the EU’s Ashoka lions of research cooperation  

In order to spread knowledge about and promote EU-Indian cooperation under Horizon 2020, a roadshow of information events was successfully completed in December 2018, in the cities of Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune and Bangalore. On average, 100 Indian researchers and scientists per city gathered to learn about research and innovation opportunities between Europe and India, the mechanisms of Horizon 2020 funding, the Horizon 2020 actions to stimulate innovation, and the career opportunities offered by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA). Much interest was also shown in the grants available under the European Research Council (ERC), for all stages in researchers’ careers, as well as in the EURAXESS initiative, a support network for researchers all over the world, providing free access to information, events and advising for researchers wishing to pursue careers and collaboration opportunities in Europe.

If you would like to learn more about EU-India R&I cooperation under Horizon 2020 or would like to stay connected, please see this flyer summarising the most important links.

More information:

Fact sheet on how to participate in Horizon 2020

Roadmap for EU-India S&T cooperation

Follow updates on Horizon 2020 and EU-international research cooperation on Twitter: @EU_H2020

Press contacts:

Anita Klapan
Scholz & Friends Berlin GmbH    
Litfaß-Platz 1           
10178 Berlin
Tel: +49 30 700186-731     

Poonam Kapila
Communications Officer
Delegation of the European Union to India
5/5 Shanti Niketan, New Delhi 110 021
Tel. +91-11-66781919





Editorial Sections: