India, ASEAN member states must intensify collaborative research in science, technology and innovation to address economic and social challenges, experts said at an event in New Delhi.
India's Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan called upon the scientific community in India and ASEAN member states to intensify collaborative research in science, technology and innovation to address the economic and societal challenges being faced by the two regions.
Addressing the first India-ASEAN InnoTech Summit, organised by FICCI in association with the Department of Science & Technology (DST) and the Ministry of External Affairs, Dr. Vardhan said, “The time now is for simple solutions for complex problems through innovation.”
Under the ASEAN-India Innovation Platform, 400 technologies are ready to be commercialised in ASEAN member states, he said and called upon the scientific community to pool and share technologies through the platform.
India, he said, has a lot to offer to the ASEAN countries. New-age technologies were being nurtured at the 38 laboratories of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, he said and added that in the global list of 1207 research institutions supported by government funding, India stood at the ninth position. “Our mission is to position India into the big league and be recognised among the top three global leaders in science and technology,” he said. Applauding the initiative, he said that the summit should be an annual event with take aways and learnings, and the government will continue to extend its support for the same in future as well.
DST Secretary, Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, said science and technology was a new dimension to the strong India-ASEAN cultural bonds and complementary economic and political systems. The need of the hour was to scale up collaborations in nanotechnology, advanced materials and biotechnology, he said.
Prof. Sharma added that the ASEAN-India Innovation Platform (AIIP) is a major element of the enhanced the ASEAN-India S&T Development Fund (AISTDF), which is a part of ASEAN-India Science & Technology Collaboration.He applauded that the India ASEAN innovation platform which was launched four months back by DST and FICCI has already received more than 1.5 million hits. The AIIP comprises social innovations, product and processes innovation generated by industry and research innovations from the academia and R&D labs. He called upon innovators in ASEAN countries to explore the numerous opportunities available in India and build partnerships for the common good of the people in the two regions.
Moe Kyaw Aung, Ambassador of Myanmar to India, said that the time was ripe to share the best ideas and build powerful networks between the scientific community of ASEAN and India. He called for creating sustainable national and international innotech projects to build a continuous and dynamic science revolution.