In October next year, a first ever high-level business and academic delegation will come from the United Kingdom to participate in the 22nd edition of Technology Summit which is an annual flagship event hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology. This was announced here on Wednesday by Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan and UK’s Minister of State for Science and Universities, Mr Jo Johnson, who was here as part of a high-level delegation.
Dr Vardhan recalled that in recent meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UK’s Prime Minister Mr David Cameron, science, technology and innovation was recognised as an important pillar in the bilateral Indo-UK partnership. “The holding of the Technology Summit next year with the UK as the partner country will be a flagship event to mark 2016 as the Indo-UK Year of Education, Research & Innovation. The summit shall provide platform for linking scientific knowledge generation to market and economic growth of both the nations,” said the Union minister.
Exuding confidence about the growing ties of his country with India, Mr Johnson said, “The UK’s partnership of India’s 2016 Technology Summit and KnowledgExpo is a unique opportunity for our countries to demonstrate our world class collaboration in education, innovation and entrepreneurship.”
“The Technology Summit and KnowledgExpo will be a standout platform for innovative businesses and thought leaders in 2016. I am delighted to be here today with DST and CII to formally launch these events, which are indicative of the rapidly growing partnership between India and the UK in these areas,” he said.
Dr Naushad Forbes, President Designate of CII and Director of Forbes Marshall, said, “The coming together of the two nations, who share a long history of more than 200 years, is fortunate. Though the two countries have been working together on several initiatives in the past 70-odd years, this is the first time that UK will be showcasing the technological prowess of its industry and academic institutions during the India-UK Technology Summit and KnowledgExpo 2016.”
He added that he hoped that this bilateral summit will lead to new avenues of collaborations and joint ventures.
Director-General of CII, Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, said, “Indian industry looks forward to working more closely with British industry.” Though there are several platforms such as the India-UK CEOs’ Forum and Jetco through which the two sides have been collaborating in the past, the partnership for next year’s Technology Summit and KnowledgExpo will take the ties to a different level, he added.
The India-UK Technology Summit and KnowledgExpo will take place from 24th October to 26th October 2016 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. At this event, key stakeholders from both the countries in the areas of knowledge economy like Science & Technology, R&D, Design, Higher Education, IPR, and Innovation & Entrepreneurship / Start-up will converge and explore partnerships. There will be five parallel summits, including technology summit, higher education summit, intellectual property rights summit, design summit and innovation & entrepreneurship summit. A large India-UK exhibition featuring technology-intensive industry; academic & R&D institutions of excellence; start-ups; innovative design firms; intellectual property institutions and many others from both the countries will showcase knowledge-intensive businesses and initiatives.
Being organised for the 22nd consecutive year, previous partner countries of technology summit have been the US (in 2014), Spain, France, Israel, Germany and many others.
UK’s science and innovation partnership with India is a fast growing, mutually beneficial relationship. Since 2008, over a 100 high-impact, high-quality research projects worth over £200 million have been co-funded by Research Councils UK and Indian partners. The UK and India signed the Newton Bhabha agreement in November 2014 under which the UK has committed £50m over 5 years for Science and Innovation collaborations and India will match fund joint programmes under this partnership. These collaborations will address grand societal challenges like food, water, energy, health and sustainable cities. Innovation collaboration with India is also growing rapidly, jointly accelerating the translation of knowledge to commercial outcomes. Innovate UK and Indian partners will announce the third round of their collaborative industrial R&D programme, making up to £3.5m available to support novel commercial solutions in the areas of clean-tech energy, affordable healthcare and ICT related to clean-tech energy and healthcare.