India, Russia explore coop in biotech, AI & quantum tech & oceanography

Russian and Indian scientists, representatives of universities and relevant ministries took part in the 12th meeting of the Russian-Indian Working Group on Science and Technology, which was held in an online format this week.

It was co-chaired by Alexander Tolparov, Director of the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, and Sanjeev K Varshney, Head of the International Cooperation Division of the Department of Science and Technology of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Government of the Republic of India.

The participants of the Working Group discussed the implementation of the inter-ministerial Roadmap for Science, Technology and Innovation cooperation between Russia and India, prepared by the decision of the previous meeting.

The sides exchanged information on such promising areas of cooperation as biotechnology, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, cyber-physical systems, oceanography, medical sciences, fundamental and applied physics.

The Institute for Nuclear Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences invited Indian researchers to work at the Baksan Neutrino Observatory in the Elbrus region and at the Baikal-GVD deep-sea neutrino telescope, while the Institute of Applied Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences invited them to design a joint station for conducting observations using space geodesy methods.

The participation of Indian specialists in the activities of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research and projects of its international multidisciplinary research program based on large research infrastructure, including the NICA superconducting heavy ion collider, is growing.

St. Petersburg Polytechnic University presented its initiatives to develop IT cooperation with Indian partners. It is proposed to share the capabilities of the world-class Scientific Center “Advanced Digital Technologies”, which was established in 2020 on the basis of the Polytechnic University in a consortium with three other universities. In addition, the university administration expressed its willingness to create and launch a joint “Russian-Indian technological innovation platform” in order to promote bilateral technological projects.The parties highlighted the grant cooperation between the two countries. Since 2016, the Russian Science Foundation, together with Indian partners from the Department of Science and Technology, has been conducting a competitive selection to support international Russian-Indian research teams. Over this period, the sides have supported a total of 63 projects worth about 1.6 billion rubles. As a result of these projects, about 1000 publications appeared in authoritative scientific journals.

In October 2022, the Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education and the Department of Science and Technology of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Republic of India conducted another selection, the results of which will be announced in February 2023. It is planned to support at least 5 projects with an implementation period in 2023-2025, the budget will amount to 10 million rubles per year per project. During the competition, 30 applications were received from the Russian side and 48 — from the Indian side. The national examination of applications is currently underway.

The Working Group noted the high level of institutional ties between the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Indian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, as well as their subordinate scientific organizations. The partners interact through webinars, meetings, conferences and visits.

The participants also underscored the fruitful cooperation between Russia and India in multilateral formats — the G20, BRICS, SCO. The interaction within these fora on many issues on the international agenda, including science and technology and innovation policies, allows Russia and India actively promote shared priorities.

The Russian-Indian Working Group on Science and Technology works under the Russian-Indian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation.

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