From 8-12th April, we had a Sweden-India Research and Innovation week in India. The week begun with a visit from key Swedish research financiers to India.
On Monday 8th April, the incoming delegation met with Indian research financiers and policymakers to learn more about India’s innovation landscape and research priorities. The idea was that calls can be designed involving several Swedish and Indian research funders, thus creating a larger financial base for an area of cooperation to grow.
On Tuesday 9th April, India’s premier think-tank Niti Aayog http://www.niti.gov.in/ hosted the Swedish delegation along with Swedish industry and Team Sweden India for a Strategic Collaboration Dialogue on the future need of co-creating innovations. This was followed a roundtable discussion with the support of India’s Principal Scientific Advisor’s office, http://psa.gov.in/ on how Sweden can collaborate with India’s the Nine flagship missions.
On Wednesday 10th April, to mark the successful one year of the signing of the Sweden-India Innovation Partnership, Ambassador Klas Molin hosted a reception at his residence which was attended by India’s Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government, Scientific Secretary, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology and Secretary, Department of Biotechnology. All stakeholders welcomed the success of the Sweden India Innovation Partnership and highlighted the role cooperation in these areas can play in developing our bilateral relationship.
The highlight of the week was the launch of India-Sweden Collaborative Industrial Research & Development Programme at the Sweden India Innovation Partnership AI for all event on Thursday 11th April. The Joint programme is co-funded by Indian Department of Science & Technology (DST) and Sweden’s Innovation Agency – Vinnova. The new programme brings together the world class excellence of Sweden and India to address challenges in the area of Smart Cities and Clean Technologies and Digitalization / Internet of Things (IoT).
A successful joint workshop brought together leading Indian and Swedish experts to talk about Digital Health and AI that was supported by Indian Department of Biotechnology and Vinnova on Friday 12th April. There was a positive media reporting of the week focused on our bilateral relationship and what we are doing to solve together the world’s most pressing global challenges.
In addition to meetings and seminars, the week also generated a line-up of thought-provoking and inspiring talks by prominent scientists and innovators. Really, a multitude of excellent events and activities delivered in the space of one week!
Importantly, since the signing of the partnership on 17 April 2018, the Office of Science and Innovation invested in the sustainability of our science and innovation cooperation with India. We have fostered links between Swedish and Indian research financiers, agencies and researchers. All of this will help identify new synergies, strengthen our science networks and promote long-term partnerships!
While we have marked a year of cooperation, it is most certainly not the end of our uplift in collaboration. As 2019 begins to unroll, the calendar of follow-up events is already filling up. In two weeks’ time, we have the Sweden-India Joint Commission Meeting on Science and Technology led by Secretary, Department of Science and Technology. A delegation of top Indian incubators will also be visiting Sweden from 6-9 May for an exposure and business development visit.
So, as we embark upon the successful anniversary of Sweden-India Innovation Partnership, clearly this is not so much the beginning of a relationship but another opportunity to remind ourselves of the great things we have done, are doing and shall do.
Maria Lunander, Leena Kukreja and Mini Nair