DST-CII Tech Summit unveils joint entrepreneurial opportunities for India & Netherlands

The 25th edition of the DST-CII Technology Summit with partner country The Netherlands brought together experts, academicians, industries and entrepreneurs of the two countries together to discuss areas of closer co-operation between the countries to address mutual challenges.

The summit inaugurated by H.M. King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands and Hon'ble Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan discussed ways to leverage existing areas of co-operation like water management and climate change and extend to new areas like machine learning artificial intelligence and Internet of things (IOT)

Addressing the august audience in the inaugural function, H.M. King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands said that India and the Netherlands complement each other in terms of technology and taken together, they make a great team. He stated that in the Netherlands experience, India was a great partner. He stressed on sharing of knowledge for innovation in the areas of mutual strength between the two countries like Agriculture, Water and Climate action. Another area where he felt that the two countries could share their experiences and approach was in terms of Public Private Partnerships.

“Countries such as ours need to combine forces to seek sustainable answers to pressing global issues. These include poverty, hunger, job creation, energy security, human rights, and gender inequality. At the same time we need to work together on climate change, terrorism, and depletion of natural resources,” said Dr Harsh Vardhan while inaugurating the summit.

Recalling the centuries old partnership between India and Netherlands, he added that India and the Netherlands were celebrating 10 years of cooperation in the Science, Technology and Innovation space, especially in areas such as Urban Water Management, Smart Energy Grids, and anti-microbial resistance, among others. He stated that Netherlands could help India in its quest to double farmers’ income by improving water technology in the farm sector.

Dr. Harshvardhan further mentioned that India has nurtured 40,000 startups in the last few years and 31 of them have achieved Unicorn status. He added that the Netherlands too has a flourishing start-up system and it is a great opportunity for young entrepreneurs. 

The two day summit was organised by the Department of Science and Technology and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi in partnership with the Netherlands at J W Marriott, Aerocity, New Delhi.

Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India stated that India has been using technology to try and achieve its goals and aspirations. He was of the view that time was now right for the co-operation to “pole-vault” into new areas like artificial intelligence, Big Data, Internet of Things, Water and Food Processing among others. He mentioned that the two countries will be signing around 30 MOUs

Ms.Ineke Dezentje Hamming, Vice President, Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers VNO-NCW in her address stated that about 200 Indian Companies operate in Netherlands and 200 Dutch companies are operating in India and they would like to extend it to much more. She noted that the two countries could work together on areas such as dredging, agri and food processing and start-ups among others. She further stated that entrepreneurship and technology have no borders and Netherlands was ready to join India in its quest for development.

Mr Vikram Kirloskar, President, CII stated that India and the Netherlands have entered into several meaningful collaborations such as the cleaning of the Ganga River and cleaning of the Barapullah drain in Delhi. He said that the two countries had much to gain by collaborating on mutual projects such as these.

 A booklet titled ‘Science, Technology and Innovation Partnership’ was also released by Ms. Mona Keijzer, Dutch State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and Dr. Harsh Vardhan.

The 2 day Summit provides a high profile and wide-ranging platform for businesses, knowledge institutions and government to forge partnership and boost innovation, investment and trade. ‘NEXUS’ is the central theme of the summit, discussing how to co-create on pioneering innovative solutions for global challenges related to water, food and good health for all.

Among the many themes during the Summit, the core focus areas are on Cross-cutting Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), NEXUS of Water-Agriculture-Health, Entrepreneurship, Enabling Technologies, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Cybersecurity, Design Thinking, Education, Geo Data and Space.