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EU and its Member States bring Research & Innovation opportunities to India

The EU and its Member States are organizing an India-wide road show to inform the Indian research stakeholders about the opportunities in EU & its Member States from 10-28 September 2012, covering 31 cities in India. The Road Show also aims at creating awareness for calls for proposals (invitations to bid for funds) for research under its Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)

The European Union and its Member States will be on an India wide tour from 10-28 September 2012 to showcase opportunities that they can offer for cooperation in the area of research and innovation. Targeting Indian researchers and industries, the road show will include information seminars in 31 cities in the Indian subcontinent. In addition to this, five thematic sessions will also be organised on biotechnology, industrial research, sustainable transport, ICT and health.

The campaign will also be leveraged to showcase the EU flagship scheme in the research & innovation arena - the 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7) - which is open to participation of researchers from across the world, including India, inviting bids from Indian research organisations, universities and industry as well as SMEs.

In total of €8.1 billion (Approx. INR 56,000 crores), this worldwide set of calls will support projects and ideas that will tackle issues such as human health, protecting the environment and finding new solutions to growing challenges linked to urbanisation and managing waste. The funding – open to organisations and businesses in all EU Member States and key partner countries including India- makes up the lion's share of the EU's research budget for 2013. Successful Indian entities can get their research costs reimbursed by the European Union.

Out of the total funding, €4.8 billion is dedicated to thematic research priorities like health, bio-technology, social sciences, transport etc. Special attention will be given to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) with a funding of about €1.2 billion to develop new products or further innovate on their offerings. And around €2.7 billion has been allocated to cement Europe's place as a world class destination for researchers, mainly through individual grants from the European Research Council (€1.75 billion), and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (€963 million) for training and mobility.

All these calls for proposals are open to Indian researchers and research institutions. Furthermore there are some activities that target India research community directly under the following programmes:

·   Establishment of EU-India Social Sciences & Humanities platform to encourage effective, structured and coherent co-operation. This €1.5 million (approximately INR 10 crores) call for proposal will steer the research collaboration between EU & India towards social science and humanities arena, endeavouring to develop multi-disciplinary solutions to tackle global societal challenges. 

·   Strengthening the EU-India bilateral cooperation between research and innovation actors. Activities includes the following- work towards implementation of the roadmap defined by the Joint S&T Co-operation Committee; identify and share best practices, study the feasibility of bringing together representations of European research organisations in India, with the view to establish a joint liaison office. With the EU funding of up to € 1.35 million (approximately INR 9.7 crores), this initiative also supports co-operation on key issues – intellectual property rights protection, standards, regulations, innovative public procurement etc- with a view to facilitate deployment of innovative products and services.

·   The up to €2.5 million (approximately INR 17 crores) ERA-NET initiative aims to strengthen co-ordination between the European research programmes with their counterparts in India. The proposal could be in research fields such as transport, energy, environment, industrial technologies, plant and human health, astrophysics and social sciences etc.  

The FP7 (2007-2013) has so far already selected 144 proposals involving some 250 Indian research institutions and industry for funding. In addition, there are 18 projects involving funding of €60 million, co-funded equally by the European Union and the India, ongoing or selected for funding. These projects are in the areas of   computational materials science, food and nutrition research, solar energy systems, biomass and biowaste and water related research.

The campaign will mobilise 57 Science & Technology Counselors and representatives of research organisations from Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, as well as from the Delegation of the European Union, the European Business and Technology Centre, the European Research Council and EURAXESS links India to make presentations in key research and innovation hot spots in India. A compendium of European (EU and Member States) mobility schemes for Indian researchers and students interested in going to Europe will also be available.

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