Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan presided over the 7th Governing Board meeting of the Indo-German Science and Technology Centre (IGSTC) today.Reflecting upon the Indo- German Science & Technology partnership over the recent past, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that the cooperation between India and Germany today is driven by a sense of confidence and purpose in achieving ‘high quality’ and ‘high impact’ partnerships. The Minister said that Germany is Land of Ideas while India is also a Land of opportunities)Germany is one amongst our top three partner countries in bilateral Science & Technology collaboration. Indian scientists publish the second largest number of papers in co-authorship with German counterparts. The impact factor of these papers is the highest compared to papers published with any other country.
The Minister noted that India is investing approximately 14 million euro for the construction of an India focussed beam line and access to the synchrotron facility at PETRA-III in DESY at Hamburg, which will be ready for inauguration later this year.India is also an equity share holder with investment of 36 million euro in the construction of the international “Facility for Antiproton-Ion Research” (FAIR) at Darmstadt. Both these state of art facilities will further enable our scientists to conduct high impact and frontier research in material science, nuclear and high energy physics in collaboration with German researchers.IGSTC is a flagship initiative of Government of India and Government of Germany to promote research partnership of industrial relevance on a PPP mode, connecting academia and industry from both countries for socio-economic benefits of both the countries in areas such as advance manufacturing, embedded systems, ICT for automobiles, renewable energy, food security, clean water and health care technologies.
The aims and objectives of the IGSTC among others is to promote Indo-German R&D networking to-
· Advance industrial research partnership
· Cross fertilization of ideas
· Develop knowledge networks for industrial competitiveness
· Establish joint knowledge pools to address global challenges
· Serve as a nerve centre to promote technology partnership
The Priority Areas include
· Advance Manufacturing (Make in India)
· Embedded System & ICT (Digital India)
· Sustainable Energy / Environment Biotechnology / Bio-economy (Food Security)
· Bio-Medical Technology (Healthy India)
· Water & Wastewater Technology (Clean India)
Being a medical doctor by profession, Dr. Harsh Vardhan was particularly impressed to note that IGSTC has initiated innovative projects on affordable biomedical devices, lab-on-chip for water pathogen detection and nano-materials for adsorption of uremic toxins for Chronic Kidney Disease(CKD) patients.The minister noted that the recently launched ‘Start-up India & Stand-up India’ programme will provide excellent opportunities for Germany to partner in this initiative. IGSTC must now endeavour to establish a vibrant Indo-German ecosystem of innovation and techno-entrepreneurship by linking the SME and Start-up enterprises of both the countries to make meaningful contribution to the knowledge economy that can promote technology based enterprises to strengthen the manufacturing base of our two countries and use the tools of science and technology to address socially relevant challenges.Also present at the occasion was the delegation from Germany led by Mr. Christian Joergen, German Co-Chair of IGSTC and the Governing Board members and scientists from both countries. Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary DST and Dr. Arabinda Mitra, Indian Co-Chair, IGSTC.