Addressing the 10th "India-Sweden Innovation Day" meet in New Delhi today, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology, MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh called for strengthening India-Sweden collaboration to effectively address pressing global challenges while remaining steadfast in the pursuit of immediate objectives on the path to achieving a net-zero future.
Speaking on behalf of the Govt of India, Dr Jitendra Singh said, companies from both sides must be encouraged to engage in collaborative research and the exchange of human resources.
Dr Jitendra Singh pointed out that this year, nine Swedish companies made a visit to India under the India-Sweden Innovations Accelerator with the aim of enhancing export and investment prospects in the field of green technology, thereby fostering stronger ties between Sweden and India in this sector.
The Minister noted that in 2023, both the countries are commemorating the 75th anniversary of the diplomatic relations and Fifth anniversary of the Sweden-India Joint Declaration on Innovation Partnership for a Sustainable Future. He described it as a momentous occasion that serves as the guiding theme for the 10th India Sweden Innovation Day.
Dr Jitendra Singh reiterated that this milestone event is centered on harnessing our respective areas of expertise and spearheading environmentally sustainable growth, all with the aim of realizing a net-zero future.
Dr Jitendra Singh recalled that in May 2022, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Ms Magdalena Andersson of Sweden reiterated their dedication to fostering collaborative research and innovation across multiple domains, including polar and space research.
The Minister said, the partnership covers several areas, including smart cities, transportation and eMobility, energy, clean technologies, new materials, space, circular and bio-based economy, and health and life sciences. He also added that the India-Sweden Innovation Partnership bridges institutions, R&D intensive industries and creative entrepreneurs to address global challenges in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, recently, the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, in collaboration with the Swedish Government Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA), has announced the INDIA–SWEDEN Collaborative Industrial Research & Development call. He said, this initiative forms an integral part of the broader Sweden-India Innovation Partnership, which collectively enhance competitiveness and tackle pressing global issues such as climate change and sustainable development through innovative solutions.
Dr Jitendra Singh noted that only last year, India and Sweden announced the India-Sweden Joint call for proposals within Circular Economy. The Joint programme is co-funded by 09 Indian and Swedish funding agencies and a total of 03 major projects were supported under this call.
A Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) was formally endorsed on March 13, 2023, forging a partnership between the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Department of Science and Technology and the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT). This collaboration is geared towards enhancing cooperation and fostering research connections among academic institutions in India and Sweden and also to promote knowledge exchange and research advancement by facilitating seminars, workshops, and conferences.
Dr Jitendra Singh expressed his gratitude to Mr Andreas Carlson, Minister of Infrastructure, Government of Sweden for participating in the 10th edition of the India Sweden Innovation Day and said that India is ready to enhance the bilateral partnership, especially in the realm of Science & Technology, and to bolster our innovation ecosystem.
The Minister concluded by saying that the bilateral diplomatic ties have prospered due to our shared values and dedication to fair trade and globalization. It brings me great joy to see that innovation cooperation is the most rapidly expanding aspect of the bilateral relationship between India and Sweden, he added.
Ambassador of Sweden to India, Mr Jan Thesleff; Ambassador of India to Sweden, Shri Tanmaya Lal; Shri Robin Sukhia, President, Sweden-India Business Council and Shri Sanjoo Malhotra, CEO India Unlimited also gave their addresses on the occasion.