India-Sweden industry-led R&D programme launched

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The India – Sweden Collaborative Industrial Research & Development Programme supported by the Government of India and Sweden was launched by Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology and H E Klas Molin, Ambassador of Sweden to India at the ‘AI for All summit’, an India-Sweden partnership event at New Delhi.

The launch of this collaboration is in line with Niti Aayog’s National Policy on Artificial Intelligence (AI) ‘AIforAll’ which focuses on harnessing collaborations and partnerships, and aspires to ensure prosperity for all. ‘AIforAll’ means technology leadership in AI for achieving the greater good.

Marching towards this direction, a discussion was held on using AI to address global challenges by Swedish & Indian stakeholders from public & private sector during the event.

In his keynote address, Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog talked about the vision document on ‘ÁIforAll’ and said that artificial intelligence could serve India’s needs in areas like medical and health services, agriculture, smart cities, smart industries, security infrastructure and so on.

 “With proactive government initiatives, robust startup and innovation ecosystem, India offers unique solutions which cater to a diverse demography, and these can help it become the AI hub for the World. It can produce AI technologies which can be applied at scale and replicated across nations,” he added.

“India’s data diversity is a big draw for global AI implementers as data is the fuel that powers current generation AI algorithms utilising deep learning,” he further pointed out.

Prof Ashutosh Sharma stressed about a road map in AI and elaborated how DST could work with Sweden on several focus areas for India.

He mentioned that creation of data hubs, convergence of technologies and collaborations with the countries in different related areas can help leverage AI for benefit of society.

"The India-Sweden Collaborative Industrial Research and Development Programme will see Swedish and Indian innovators work together and develop solutions that benefit both sides," Klas Molin, said.

He added that India, with its strong talent pool and scale with over a billion people, will play an important role for developing solutions that can address challenges related to healthcare, transportation and public safety.

The objective of the programme is to promote, facilitate and support co-development and commercialization of innovative technologies which can benefit both India and Sweden. This Programme is being implemented by Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA) on behalf of DST in India, and Vinnova in Sweden. 

The launch of the Programme coincided with the launch of the 1st Request for Proposals 2019 with the following areas of focus:

1. Smart Cities and Clean Technologies, including but not limited to:

  1. Transport & mobility; Electrical vehicles, Autonomous vehicles, Traffic safety, Mobility as a service, Reduction in traffic congestion, Digital solutions, etc.
  2. Environmental technologies; Eco–system services, Clean water and air, Waste management, Renewable energy, etc.
  3. Circular and bio-based economy; Bio-based materials, Bio-fuels, Resource efficiency in consumption and production, Waste-to-wealth, etc.
  4. Energy; Reduced energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, Alternative fuels and mobile energy sources, Renewable energy, Energy storage, Resource-efficient infrastructure planning, etc.
  5. City planning; ICT for urban technical supply, Geodata, tools for dialogue with citizens, etc.

2. Digitalisation and Internet of Things (IoT)

Indian industry can avail funding up to INR 1.5 Cr (USD 250,000 approx.) per project for co-development of technologies with Sweden. Government’s contribution would be match funded by the Indian Industry. Similarly, the Swedish industry can avail a grant of upto 2, 500,000 Swedish Krona per project by their Government. 

The deadline for submission of applications is August 19, 2019.