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India and Germany to focus big time on Artificial Intelligence startups

Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Jitendra Singh with German Minister for Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger in Berlin (Image courtesy: Twitter/@BMBF_Bund)

India and Germany have agreed to work together with focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI) start-ups as well as AI research and its application in sustainability and health care.

As Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Jitendra Singh held talks with German Minister for Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger in Berlin, both countries expressed satisfaction on the ongoing science and technology cooperation which is one of the strategic pillars of bilateral relationship.

Both ministers agreed that there is a lot of scope to work together in Artificial Intelligence for which experts on two sides have already met. An Indo-German call for proposals for this would be raised soon inviting proposals from researchers and industry.

Singh recalled that in November 2019, during Chancellor Merkel’s visit to Delhi, Germany and India had agreed to establish a joint research programme in Artificial Intelligence. They had also decided on the extension of the Indo-German partnership in higher education for another four years, with contributions of 3.5 million Euros each. 

Academia, research institutions and industries of both countries have strong bonding and are playing the role of catalyst in strategic research and development partnerships.

Singh mentioned that both the countries are now working in frontier areas of science and technology, including electric mobility, cyber physical system, quantum technologies, future manufacturing, green hydrogen fuel, deep ocean research and proposed to develop joint cooperation in these areas. Both India and Germany have already started mapping each other’s strength in areas like application of Artificial Intelligence in sustainability and healthcare.

India's Department of Science and Technology and German Research Foundation (DFG) had recently concluded MOU to support the International Research Training Groups (IRTG) programme which would further boost the cooperation towards capacity building targeting the training of Indian and German students for pursuing the PhD program. The maiden call for inviting proposals under this programme from Indian and German research groups is already on.

Several other initiatives for human capacity developments in science and engineering have recently been worked out, which includes Women Involvement in Science and Engineering Research (WISER) to facilitate lateral entry of women researchers into ongoing S&T projects and Paired Early Career Fellowships creating an inclusive ecosystem for the Indo-German S&T cooperation with exchange of young researchers on both

Singh mentioned that the Indian government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi gives great importance to innovation and that the present government puts emphasis on promoting the value chain of innovation, entrepreneurship and IP generation. He said that the Indian innovation system is more purpose driven rather than process driven with focus on affordability and accessibility.

Bettina Stark-Watzinger supported the idea to further strengthen bilateral scientific cooperation by partnering in emerging science and technology areas where both Germany and India have strength to work together and serve two societies.

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