Business and economic relations between India and the European Union (EU) are on way to becoming more fruitful and strong. Technology partnerships, especially in the areas of waste management, water treatment and renewable energy between the two are set to go up with EU’s vast expertise in these areas and India’s proven need for the same. This was stated by the Minister for Science and Technology, Earth Sciences and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, on the occasion of the National Technology Day.
The Minister was addressing the inaugural session of a joint India-EU business and research initiative on clean-technology, organised under the aegis of Global Technology Partnership Forum by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC).
Launching the web portal of Technology Export Development Organisation (TEDO), a joint initiative of CII and the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), the Minister called this a step in the right direction. He expressed happiness that the website would enable small and medium enterprises prepare themselves for the export market, especially the European Union (EU). “The market norms in EU are stringent and I believe that once our industry is ready for the EU market; they will be equipped to export to any market,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador and Head of the EU delegation to India Daniele Smadja said achieving global development goals through limited means was a big challenge. Asserting that by 2020, clean technology will be a market worth many trillions of dollars, she outlined the Europe 2020 Vision which is a broad strategy to push EU to become frugal in resource consumption, smart and sustainable. She expressed happiness over the fact that similar efforts were being made by India through its Decade of Innovation initiative.
Secretary, DST, Mr T Ramasami, expressed India’s resolve to co-operate with the EU in clean technology and its utilisation. Stressing the need for unit price reduction for technology to be able to penetrate, he called for suitable adaptation to Indian needs for joint ventures to succeed.
Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Mr Dhruv M Sawhney, Past Chairman of CII, Chairman of CII’s Water Council and Chairman and Managing Director of Triveni Engineering & Industries, said climate change and its related problems were affecting all sectors of economy by impacting food prices and fuelling inflation.
In this context, said Georgette Lalis, Director at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy, “Europe was doing its best to lead by example in the area of clean technology.” EU is committed to complete decarbonisation of energy sector by 2050, she said.
To tackle the problem of climate change and its related problems, EU has set up a European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC) and its Director Poul V Jensen said his organisation was trying to connect the dots all over the world.
Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Minister Mr Bansal said India had launched its National Action Plan on Climate Change in 2008 and it was an area where both countries could benefit from each other. To encourage industry participation in its science & technology cooperation, the Indian government and CII have together promoted Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA).
India and EU renewed S&T Co-operation Agreement in 2007 with a view to enhancing the scale and scope of research and innovation partnerships. During the joint steering committee meeting last year, both sides agreed to double the level of funding from Euro 5 million to Euro 10 million from each side for collaborative research projects.