On 19 October 2016, the Farnesina hosted a meeting of the Indo-Italian Joint Committee established under the Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement signed between Italy and India in New Delhi on 28 November 2003. The Indian delegation was led by Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Science and Technology, while the Italian delegation was led by Vincenzo De Luca, Director General for Cultural and Economic Promotion and Innovation (DGSP) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation(MAECI).
The Joint Committee approved several initiatives to immediately relaunch cooperation in the sectors of science, technology and innovation: in the next few days a call for bilateral scientific projects of great relevance will be published with the aim of facilitating the mobility of researchers who will be jointly selected and co-financed within the framework of the 2017-2019 Italy-India Executive Programme of Scientific and Technological Cooperation. The Committee expressed appreciation for the cooperation established between Italian and Indian researchers in the India-Trento Programme for Advanced Research (ITPAR) and at the Sincrotrone of Trieste in constructing two new beamlines for the ELETTRA ‘XRD2’ and ‘XPRESS’ accelerators, which will be inaugurated on 20 October.
“For Italy and India to relaunch their bilateral cooperation starting from the areas of scientific research and innovation confirms the importance of scientific diplomacy, which contributes to favouring dialogue and promoting exchanges and investments, as is the case with India’s recent 6 million euro financing of two experimental lines at the Sincrotrone of Trieste,” said Director General De Luca.
Information and Communication Technology, energy, the environment and sustainable agriculture, health care, biotechnologies and medicine, nanotechnologies and advanced materials, physics and astrophysics and technology applied to the cultural and natural heritage, are the areas agreed upon by the two parties in which to submit projects. The Committee went on to discuss a new scientific and technological cooperation programme on applied science, aimed at developing technologies and processes to be applied in industry. The Committee decided to schedule a yearly joint workshop to be alternatively held in Italy and India, starting from 2017; and to promote the establishment of an Indo-Italian Innovation Forum to connect the world of research with the world of business and investment.