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The European Union (EU) has launched Innovation Platform in India yesterday at Delhi. The platform is an initiative between India and Europe that seeks to bring together innovators, start-ups and incubators from both sides for interaction. The aim is to foster innovation cooperation between India and Europe.

EU India incubator/accelerator network was also launched, which will be for startups from both the regions to explore opportunities for co-creation of products and solutions that have socio-economic impact for both EU and India.

The incubator/accelerator network will match organisations from both regions and bring relevant organisations together in two networking events in India and two networking events in Europe — between 2018 and 2020.

This platform will also support and speed up the commitments which the EU and India have taken in the areas — Clean energy, Circular Energy, Water Partnership and Sustainable Urbanization & Smart Cities.

In addition, participants had an opportunity to exchange views with a panel of EU and Indian authorities and experts on innovation, taking into account each other’s ecosystem and strategic agenda. A panel consisting of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Department of Biotechnology for this occasion represented by BIRAC (the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council, a Government of India enterprise) NITI Aayog and Invest India, outlined the ecosystem in India and the role and modalities for international cooperation on innovation. Several actors shared their experience and best practices in cooperating between Europe and India.

The Platform meeting listened also to the first findings of the meeting of Incubators from Europe and India who met for two days in Bengaluru on 8 and 9 October 2018 and who all welcomed the opportunity to meet and share ideas on how co-creation can improve and be facilitated. Both learned a lot from each other and considered that support for further interaction and matchmaking would be essential.

As a result of this collaboration between network participants and other stakeholders, the mutual understanding of each region’s innovation system and way of doing business increased among network participants.

From the brainstorming session and different working groups constituted under the Platform, some ideas for further action already emerged. The EU is now committed to pursue the dialogue with India both at the level of the innovation actors from private sector and public sector to see how, for example, co-working space for European starts-ups in India could be organised, co-organise European start-up events in India and bring Indian start-ups to Europe and advocate better innovation framework conditions for European innovators to the Government of India.

On this occasion, EU Ambassador Tomasz Kozlowski said that “Expanding the EU-India strategic partnership with the innovation dimension, through the creation of this Innovation Platform, will strengthen further and modernise the cooperation between Europe and India. He added that this Platform will also support and speed up the commitments which the EU and India have taken in the areas of clean energy, circular energy, water partnership or sustainable urbanisation and smart cities.”

Ms Signe Ratso, Deputy Director General, Research and Innovation, European Commission, who is visiting India on this occasion said that she was very impressed with what she has seen and learned on the Indian innovation ecosystem and hoped that following this pilot initiative, “the EU will engage in a dialogue with India to see how both sides can take actions to enhance the EU-India innovation partnership as our leaders mandated to do in October 2017. Engaging together in innovation is investing in the future and speed up the need to find solutions to the real-world problems. She added that the EU-India Incubators and Accelerators Network launched in Bengaluru will create synergies and co-create new innovation to tackle challenges both regions are facing.”

The innovation activities launched by the European Union will reinforce European presence and visibility in India in the area of Innovation. It will increase the impact of the European Member States innovation activities and foster access of India for European innovators and entrepreneurs and vice-versa.

Ultimately, innovators from India and Europe will be able to work together, jointly find solutions that will tackle global challenges such as water scarcity, climate change, food and energy security.

To recall, in June this year India’s Union science & technology minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan, had announced that India will soon have its first international incubator for clean energy, coming up in capital city of Delhi. It is not clear that this EU, India partnership is part of that announcement or not, since no announcement of clean energy incubator has been made yet.

Source – Eeas.europa.eu/delegations/india/

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