India-Russia STI Co-operation Gaining Momentum

STI Co-operation Roadmap

The new Roadmap for Bilateral STI Co-operation has been developed and signed in Dec 2021 by both sides, on the sidelines of the 21st Bilateral summit. The Roadmap is a continuation and development of the Integrated Long Term Program (ILTP) of cooperation in the field of science, technology and innovation between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of India. The new roadmap focuses on a variety of new engagements to promote coinnovation and exchanges and will be in-force for next 05 years (2022-2027). The key features of the roadmap include implementation of joint projects in the field of innovation, including demonstration and industrial projects contributing to the development of innovations and the development of economic and industrial potential of the two countries, including competitions for innovation projects, support for creation of international centres for innovative entrepreneurship with a full cycle of project development, creation of joint centres of competence, enhancing of inter-cluster interaction.

Recent Major Bilateral Scientific Interactions

Several scientific bilateral exchanges were undertaken by the two sides in the field of Science & Technology over the last two years, in the areas of national / global priorities such as Smart transport and telecommunications, Smart health-care and medicine, New Materials, Plant and Animal Bio-Technology, Clean Energy, Waste to Wealth Technologies, Artificial Intelligence, and Safe Food. The two sides have also engaged both at government and private sector level to find ways of joint development of software products, platforms and services as well as in the area of electronics manufacturing. During the 21st Bilateral summit, both sides also confirmed their interest in further developing cooperation in the sphere of digital technologies, including those related to information protection, security of critical infrastructure and law enforcement.

Few significant scientific exchanges, undertaken by both sides are as follows :-

(a) Quantum Technologies. Series of scientific exchanges were conducted with the help of DST, CSIR, IIT/IISER and Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) and Russian Quantum Center (RQC) on the topics of quantum computing, metrology and quantum Communications.

(b) Blue Economy and Marine Technologies. Series of scientific exchanges were conducted, with the help of Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), CSIR, IIT/IISERs, Fisheries Survey Institute (FSI), and Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences on the topics of Marine Technology focused on Marine Geo-resources, Marine Geology and Oceanography; Marine Robotics and Deep-Sea Hybrid Underwater Vehicles; Marine Drugs and Marine Bio-diversity, Marine Ecosystem and Blue Economy.

(c) Oil and Gas Technologies. ONGC R&D centers and Hydrocarbon Lab Skoltech conducted Scientific interactions on development of new technological solutions for thermal, gas, chemical and hydrocarbon recovery methods.

(d) CPS, Artificial intelligence and Society 5.0. Russia-India Scientific exchanges on Cyber Physical Systems (CPS), AI and Society 5.0, promoting scientific exchanges in the directions of Modelling and development of CyberPhysical Systems, Technologies and Structures for CPS, Role of Positioning and Precision in CPS

(e) Waste to Wealth Technologies. Russia-India Scientific exchanges, on Waste to Wealth Technologies, in coordination with the W2W Mission at the Office of PSA, leading to technologies on Municipal Waste Management; Agri crops waste/residues — Biomass to Energy; Industrial Waste Management & Industrial effluent and Resilient Smart City Technologies.

(f) Disaster Management Technologies. Russia India Scientific exchange on Disaster Management technologies related to disaster risk reduction and resilient infrastructure; Integration of sensors and data to improve disaster forecasts; Crisis Analytics and Disaster prediction; Use of Drones, IoT data integration and scientific methods to improve disaster response.

SME / Startup Exchanges

Following activities were conducted to further strengthen and develop economic and industrial potential through technology partnerships between of the two countries, through competitions for innovation projects, support for innovative entrepreneurship and enhancing of inter-cluster interaction :-

(a) Startup Exchanges. The start-up technology initiatives between startups were exchanged between Skolkovo, CII and SINE (Kawach). Webinar interactions were conducted between Startup India, CII, FICCI and Innovation Centers in, Russia, and followed up with filtered B2B collaboration and exchanges.

(b) Digital Incubation. Ministry of Economic Development, Russian Federation and related innovation agencies were brought together with Indian Startups and Innovation Stakeholders to exchange digital solutions / effort to fight the pandemic. These two agencies conducted exchanges to steer collaborative ‘Digital Interventions and Solutions’ relevant for the post-covid times.

(c) Innovation Exchanges. India Russia Prarabh Roadshow for Startups and Tech SMEs was attended by hundreds of stakeholders on both sides.

(d) Stakeholders Meet. India-Russia Webinar on Opportunities for Start-ups and High-Tech high impact innovators was attended by Govt/Incubators/Industry from both sides.

(e) India International Science Festival-IISF. Leading Institutes and experts of research in textiles and handicrafts in Russia namely Kosygina University and INPC TLP participated in the India International Science Festival (IISF) in 2020 and 2021 and interacted with Indian stakeholders.

(f) Global Technology Summit. Leading Russian speakers from more than 20 Russian companies were engaged in the DST-CII Global Tech summit held in Dec 21.

(g) DST-FASIE Co-Innovation. Two new calls were initiated in 2020 and 2021 for India-Russia Joint Technology Assessment and Accelerated Commercialization Programme. This is a bilateral initiative focused on strengthening the relationship based on Science, Technology and Innovation. The programme aims to create an ecosystem wherein innovative Indian and Russian S&T led SMEs, Start-ups and Enterprises come together to drive B2B/B2G/B2C business ventures for mutually-inclusive socio-economic impact and development. The programme is a joint initiative of the Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India and Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises (FASIE) of the Russian Federation.

Youth Exchanges

In the 2019, a delegation of 25 students and 5 teachers from Atal Innovation Mission(AIM) India, visited the Sirius Centre, Sochi Russia for a co-innovation program. The students from both sides created 8 different co-innovation teams, under focus areas, viz Remote Earth Sensing, Biological and Genetic Research, Clean Energy, Data analytics & Frontier Technologies, and Drones & Robotics. However, since 2020, owing to the pandemic restrictions, Atal Innovation Mission and SIRIUS have conducted online Co-innovation and Hackathons. These programs are focused on developing Technology Interventions through Web / Mobile Applications for grass root level solutions to big challenges like Machine Translation; Distance Education; Health & Well-being; Digital asset monitoring etc.

Recent MoUs

Details of recent MoUs signed and publicized by both sides, are as follows :-

(a) CSIR-Skoltech - to promote joint research and development for Cooperation in Electronics & Instrumentation; Environment and Ecology; Minerals, Mining and Materials; Chemical Technologies, Bio-Technologies; Energy technologies; Big-Data and AI applications.

(b) IIT-Bombay and MIPT - to facilitate student and faculty exchanges and joint research and programs.

(c) CSIR(NIO) – PIBOC(RAS) – to promote joint research and development in the field of Marine Technologies.

(d) ONGC – Skoltech - to promote joint research and development in the field of Gas Hydrates and Thermal Petrophysics.

(e) TIFAC – HSE - to promote joint research and development in the field of studies related to growth and applications of emerging technologies and Scientific Analysis, Forecasting and Trending.

(f) University of Delhi and Skoltech - to facilitate student and faculty exchanges and joint research and programs in Inter-disciplinary areas of interest

(h) University of Delhi and Sechenov University - to facilitate student and faculty exchanges and joint research and programs in Nanomedicine, regenerative medicine, clinical research, New drug-discovery, Industrial technologies and enterpreneurship.

(i) University of Delhi and University of Nizhny Novogrod - to facilitate student and faculty exchanges and joint research and programs in mutual areas of interest.

(j) IISER(Kol) – NSCMB(RAS) – to promote joint research and exchanges in the field of Blue Economy and Marine Technologies.