Science and Technology

A brief overview of Indo-Swedish Research and Innovation collaboration.

A Memorandum of Understanding on Science and Technology between the governments of India and Sweden was signed 2005.

The Swedish Innovation Agency, VINNOVA, was assigned by the Swedish Government to take the lead to operationalize research and innovation collaborations between Swedish and Indian researchers. On the Indian side the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Ministry of Science and Technology, has been the nodal organisation for collaboration.

Since the first Joint Committee meeting, which took place 2007, five calls for proposals have been announced. The first call was announced jointly by VINNOVA and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, and dealt with the diagnosis, understanding and treatment of Tuberculosis. Four 3-year projects have been completed.

The second call was announced jointly by VINNOVA and the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DIT), Ministry of Communication & Information Technology, and addressed challenging problems of computing for health applications.

Also a joint call between VINNOVA and DST was announced, and now 6 projects are running in the field of embedded systems.

Lately, the Swedish team was broadened as the Swedish Research Council joined hands with VINNOVA to develop a joint call with DBT (call text - attached on the side panel). This call was announced in January 2013 and closed at the end of April 2013 and addressed broad areas of health research. 9 projects were selected for funding and are operational since early 2014.

More information (in Swedish) on VINNOVA’s calls can be found here.

The fifth call, jointly announced between the Swedish Research Council and DST closed on 9 April 2014 (call text - attached on the side panel). The review process is now underway and selection is expected to be announced late 2014.

New organisations on both sides show interest in collaborating and starting new joint Indo-Swedish programmes.

Clearly there is scope to expand the Science and Technology cooperation between India and Sweden to new fields with mutual benefit. Both nations face challenges in many areas, for example Energy, Health and Environment – and in these areas there are MoUs in place between India and Sweden opening up for enhanced research and innovation collaboration.

The Swedish Energy Agency has launched the India-Sweden Innovation Accelerator, a platform for fast track communication about innovations and the development opportunities they could result in.

We are all aware that the right balance must be struck between basic research, application-oriented research and also giving support to commercialisation of research results. It is reassuring to see that the Indo-Swedish collaboration is developing in to a full-fledged broad based research programme were all three research phases are being addressed.

In addition to the formal collaboration programmes under the MoU also individual researchers or departments are nurturing contacts and collaborate on a wide range of scientific problems. Approximately 300 joint research articles are published annually.