India and the UK are looking at greater collaboration in science and technology
India and the United Kingdom have announced plans to establish the India-UK "NET Zero" Innovation Virtual Centre to enhance their Science & Technology cooperation. The announcement was made during the India-UK Science & Innovation Council meeting, which was co-chaired by Union Minister of State Jitendra Singh and UK Minister George Freeman in London on Wednesday.

The India-UK "NET Zero" Innovation Virtual Centre will offer a forum for bringing together stakeholders from the two nations to collaborate on some of the important areas, such as Green Hydrogen as a renewable source and the decarbonization of manufacturing processes and transportation networks.

In making this announcement, both ministers noted that India is rapidly transforming under Prime Minister Narendra Modi into an economic powerhouse, propelled by its extraordinary technological and innovative capabilities that the entire world has started to acknowledge, particularly in light of the success of the COVID vaccine.

The two leaders also urged more collaboration in science and technology between India and the UK.

In his inaugural remarks, Singh stated that India is moving quickly and that it is committed to meeting its environmental and climate change goals on schedule. He also emphasized how the two nations' strong cooperation has been enhanced by the ambitious "Roadmap 2030," which offers a framework for ties between the UK and India in the areas of health, the environment, commerce, education, science and technology, and defense.

He also informed his British colleague that the UK has become India's second-largest foreign partner in research and innovation. The two countries' joint research program has increased from absolutely nothing to close to £300-400 million, he added.

Furthermore, he expressed his optimism that the India-UK Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed on Thursday, will serve as an excellent vehicle to encourage research and innovation in both nations for long-term sustainable growth via enhancing and maximizing cooperation in areas of shared interest.

Speaking about the significance of industry-academia cooperation for economic growth and development, he said that the relaunch of the DST Innovate UK Industrial R & D program will give Indian and UK academia and industry the chance to jointly develop newer products/processes for both countries' economies.

He expressed satisfaction with the MOES-NEKTON research collaborations program for the Deep Ocean Mission in India, which aims to explore and conserve marine biodiversity, as well as the MOES and UK Met Office collaboration in weather and climate science, which aims to conduct joint research on environmental disasters in the South Asian Monsoon system, improve the modeling capabilities at various scales, and enhance tools and techniques for risk-based (Ensemble) predicting of natural hazards.

Both leaders urged for fresh partnerships for cooperative R&D projects between BBSRC-DBT and Health & MOES-NERC Call in the areas of Solid Earth Risks and Farmed Animal Disease.

Furthermore, Singh invited Minister Freeman to attend the G20 Research Ministers meeting in Mumbai on July 6, 2023 and noted that India is hosting the G20 this year and hosting a number of scientific meetings, including Science 20 (S20), Research and Innovation (RIIG), and Scientific Advisers meetings.