Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Nov 02, 2004
Industry & Economy
Research & Development
Indo-German pact for funding project-based research
(From left) Ms Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director, Biocon Ltd, Ms Farha Ebrahimi, Founder Partner, Mithragroup, Ms.Linda F. Powers, Manging Director, Toucan Capital Corp, and Dr Bala S. Manian, Founder, ReaMetrix Inc, at the International Knowledge Millennium Conference on biotechnology in Hyderabad on Monday. A. Roy Chowdhury
Hyderabad , Nov. 1
THE Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the German Research Foundation (DFG) and , have decided to shift the focus in joint science and technology initiatives from individual-based to project-oriented research funding.
Accordingly, the two have signed a memorandum of understanding that will see joint research projects, bilateral seminars and short-term visits, with special focus on young scientists.
A joint advisory committee has been proposed to be set up to review and steer the implementation of the MoU. The agreement also broadens the scope of existing tie-ups among DFG, DST as well as the Indian National Science Academy.
The MoU was signed by Prof Ernst Ludwig Winnacker, President of DFG, and Prof V.S. Ramamurthy, Secretary, DST, as part of the ongoing Indo-German Sci-Tech Forum meetings in the country between October 27 to November 7.
Speaking at the inaugural of the two-day Indo-German Sci-Tech Forum India 2004 at the University of Hyderabad on Monday, Dr Winnacker said DFG has a budget of euro 1.3 billion and is responsible to fund projects in all fields of sciences, including the social sciences.
He said several projects have been opened up to foreign scholars, who are now treated on par with their German counterparts. Similarly, the visa formalities have also been made simpler. Dr Winnacker hoped to see an increased number of scholars participating in the near future.
The DFG President said a European Research Council is also under creation to fund basic research. Fine-tuning is currently under way and it could become operational in 2007, giving scope for greater participation for foreign scholars, including countries such as India in European research projects.
The Vice-President, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Prof Max Huber, in his address, said the opportunities for science and technology co-operation between the two countries have dramatically increased and there is scope to evolve interesting projects of mutual interest.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hyderabad, Dr Kota Harinarayana, in his welcome, said the two-day meeting would focus on plant biochemistry and biotechnology, nanotechnology, environmental research and technologies and molecular biology of infectious diseases.
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