Experts from India and Israel deliberated on widening the scope of India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F) at its 8th Governing Body meeting. They approved 3 joint R&D projects worth 5.5 million $ and suggested measures to create a broader India-Israel collaborative ecosystem.
The I4F programme has a lot of potentials. This board meeting will give us new thoughts, new directions on how to go forward,” said Dr. S Chandrasekhar, Secretary, DST & India Co-Chair, acknowledging the contribution made by Israel to S&T.
“So far, the priority areas have been Agriculture, Security and other important areas. There is further scope of increasing the quantum of projects received, which calls for the need to conduct more online meetings amongst the startup eco-system of Israel and India.”
He mentioned that 16th January has been announced as ‘Innovation Startup Day’ by Honourable PM of India, which is a big beginning for India. “Given that this is the 50th year of operations of DST, it will be a great year with more and more Industries coming forward,” he added.
The discussions took place in virtual mode on 18th January 2022 in the presence of officials from the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt of India, Israel Innovation Authority (IIA), GITA and various Industries partners.
Dr. Amiram Appelbaum, Co-Chair, Israel and Chairman of the Board, IIA, said that despite the difficult times of the pandemic, it is critical to continue the efforts of collaboration. “I4F is one of the examples of collaborations which we want to carry forward. We look forward to go through interesting applications of projects submitted in this programme,” he stressed.
The governing body ratified the Minutes of Seventh Governing Board Meeting, which was followed by approval to 3 joint R&D projects with an overall budget of 5.4 million $. The projects were ‘Centrally Monitored IoT Nanosensors for Molecular Diagnostics in Healthcare and Screening Applications’, ‘NoMoreMos- a mosquito control biological solution’ and ‘IoT enabled satellite communication for real-time collection of agriculture and environment data across India’.
The members further discussed the status of ongoing projects under the I4F since 2018. Israel side introduced the new I4F website and matchmaking platform developed as a measure to increase the popularity of the joint programme and presented a list of programmes planned for 2022. The members mutually decided on a strategy for the new phase of I4F 2.0, which included widening the scope of the fund by determining technical feasibility and market acceptability of new products or technologies, co-developing products or technologies for commercialization, co-testbed products or technologies for commercialization in R&D and pilot areas. It also included co-developing disruptive technologies in strategic sectors together with research performers involving academia as well. The members also suggested the need to focus on Partnership Development Activities like more business activities with Indian and Israeli companies and startups through series of online events, follow up B2B meetings.
Mr. Vishvajit Sahay Additional Secretary & Financial Adviser DST, Mr S Gopalakrishnan Chairman, Axilor Ventures & Co-Founder, Infosys Mr. R. Ramanan Former Mission Director & Additional Secretary, Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, Government of India, Mr. Dror Bin, CEO, Israel Innovation Authority, Israel, Mr. S K Varshney Adviser & Head, International Cooperation (Bilateral) Division, DST were among the members present in the meeting.
India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F) fund is a cooperation between the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, and the Israel Innovation Authority, Government of Israel to promote, facilitate and support joint industrial R&D projects between companies from India and Israel to address the challenges in the agreed ‘Focus Sectors’. I4F is aimed to promote, facilitate and support joint industrial R&D between India & Israel, which would lead to the co-development and commercialization of innovative technologies benefiting both countries. Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA) is appointed to implement the I4F program in India, while Israel Innovation Authority is the implementing agency in Israel.