Image credit: Dr Harsh Vardhan; Twitter

Image credit: Dr Harsh Vardhan; Twitter

India inks five Memorandums of Understanding with South Korea in Science & Technology

On 9 July, India signed five MoUs (Memorandums of Understanding) in the field of Science & Technology with South Korea.

The Union Minister for Science & Technology, Dr Harsh Vardhan and the South Korean Minister of Science and Technology, Mr You Young Min signed three MoUs for Cooperation in Biotechnology & Bio-economy, the Establishment of Future Strategy Group and the Programme of Cooperation 2018-21.

According to the press statement released by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the MoU on cooperation in the field of biotechnology and bio-economics calls for cooperation in adoption of biotechnology and bio big-data in health, medicine, agro-fishery products, precision medicine, brain research, digital healthcare, creating advanced medical equipment, bio-research resources, genome editing and developing environmental sectors through biotechnology. 

The MoU on the Establishment of a Future Strategy Group was signed by Indian Science & Technology and Commerce Ministers, while on the Korean side, it was signed by Science and ICT and Trade Ministers. The Future Strategic Group is expected to develop a collaborative platform that will utilise the potential of both the countries to foster innovation and have far-reaching social and economic impacts. The objective of the MoU on the Future Strategy Group is to develop state-of-the-art technologies in areas including the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), big data and 3D-printing. It also aims to use technology to provide affordable healthcare for the elderly and specially-abled. Both countries will be co-funding collaborative enterprise-led joint R&D projects covering digital transformation, future manufacturing, future utilities and healthcare.

Both countries renewed the Programme of Cooperation in the field of Science and Technology for 2018-21 to augment the cooperation in science, technology and innovation.

Two other MoUs were inked between the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), and the South Korean National Research Council for Science & Technology (NST); and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mumbai and Korea Institute of Science & Technology, to bolster cooperation in scientific and technological research in their respective sectors. Through the MoU, both the countries will cooperate in scientific & technological research, including areas of affordable water purification technologies, intelligent transport systems, new/alternative materials, traditional and oriental medicines and technology packaging and commercialisation.

Dr Harsh Vardhan and Mr You Young Min also went over the bilateral Science and Technology cooperation between the two countries since the last meeting of the Steering Committee at Seoul in November 2015. They agreed to launch an Indo-Korean Centre for Research and Innovation (IKCRI) in India that will function as the hub for systematic operations and to manage of all cooperative programmes in research and innovation between the two countries, including innovation, entrepreneurship and technology transfer.

The two countries have also agreed to collaboratively establish two additional India-Korea Joint Network Centres in areas for artificial intelligence (Cyber-Physical Systems), the internet of things that are focused on agriculture, energy, water and transportation and semiconductor electronics.  These centres will leverage existing infrastructure and funding available from the partners on both sides in focused applied research areas that will accelerate the progress in technology development. 

The press release quoted Dr Harsh Vardhan saying that India can lead newly industrialising countries in developing and adopting affordable technologies and processes and demonstrate a growth path and low energy consumption pattern that would be more sustainable than that of the industrial countries.

The MoUs were signed at the end of the fourth India-Korea Science & Technology Ministers Steering Committee Meeting.

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