UK-India share a strong relationship among its scientific communities
With an aim to promote UK-India collaboration in science, innovation and manufacturing, Innovate UK – the UK’s innovation agency – led a high-profile delegation from the UK Catapult Centres. Delegates from the digital, energy systems, transport, future cities, and satellite applications catapults visited Delhi and Bengaluru from February 26 to 1 March 2018. The catapults are not-for-profit, independent physical centres which foster innovation, bridging the gap between research and commercialisation.
Four of these catapults: Energy Systems, Transport Systems, Satellite Applications and Future Cities, participated in a series of meetings to discuss energy and transport implications for air quality and the opportunities for collaborative, innovative solutions involving Indian and UK partners. The meetings included representatives from the government, industry, academia and non-profit organisations.
With an aim to promote UK’s cross cutting technology and innovation in manufacturing, the digital catapult visited various organisations including research units, technology giants and small & medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) working in the manufacturing space. Discussions focused on micro, small & medium enterprises (MSME) collaborations around Industry 4.0 and the provision of platforms for experimentation.
Stakeholders agreed that these discussions will foster the creation of an ambitious bilateral programme that brings the UK and the Indian digital manufacturing industries closer together.
Professor Amaresh Chakrabarti, Chairman, Centre for Product Design and Manufacturing, Indian Institute of Science said:
It was great to attend this high profile meeting where there was clear intent and urgency in taking collaboration between India and the UK forward in manufacturing, which has been identified as an area of priority by both the countries. Research, innovation and translation are key to both high value and high impact manufacturing, and the two countries have complementary skills and expertise to strengthen each other.
Working with MSMEs to move them up the value chain with appropriate technology and skills is particularly important for high impact, while strengthening ties to support aerospace, automotive and medical technology sectors can provide high value for both India and the UK.
Both the delegations discussed and explored new areas for collaboration and partnerships with Indian partners and other stakeholders in government, industry and the academia under the UK-India Newton-Bhabha Fund. Newton Bhabha Fund is a bilateral initiative to address global societal challenges through capacity building, research and innovation partnerships.
The key areas of discussion included:
- digital manufacturing
- clean energy for transport
- improving air quality
Over four days the catapults visited a number of leading Indian academic institutes, government and industrial bodies that included:
- Indian Institute of Science (Bengaluru),
- Electropreneur Park
- National Institute of Urban Affairs
- The Central Manufacturing Technology Institute
- Ministry of Electronics and IT
- Larsen and Toubro Technology Services
- Tech Mahindra
- Tata Power
- Federation of Indian Petroleum Industry
- Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation
India and the UK share close ties in the field of science, innovation and research. The importance of this international collaboration was reinforced by Innovate UK’s Deputy Chief Executive, Kevin Baughan whose visit was also a part of the delegation.
Kevin outlined his desire to see the principles of excellent innovation and collaboration to improve mutual global competitiveness and openness to be the guiding principles of the India-UK innovation partnership, and for both countries to shape these principles together as opportunities for partnership grow. He also met the winners of Tech Rocketship Awards who were recently awarded at the India-UK Createch Summit in Mumbai.
Kevin also chaired a high profile India-UK Future Manufacturing meeting, where he discussed the progress and development of the roadmap for strengthening collaboration between both countries in manufacturing. This meeting was a follow up to the recommendations of the ‘India-UK Future Manufacturing’ report which was launched last November at Innovate 2017 in Birmingham, UK. The participants at the meeting included representatives from UK and Indian companies, policy makers and academics.
Kevin Baughan appreciated the efforts of the both the countries and said:
With such a broad range of high-calibre expertise from industry, research and academia, this was an excellent opportunity to progress the development of our shared roadmap for strengthening the collaboration between India and the UK on the Future of Manufacturing.
I was very pleased with our conclusions which added clarity to the way forward through a joint focus on the global opportunities for advanced manufacturing using approaches tailored to achieve local prosperity.