News Desk: The Department of Science and Technology has launched the India-Russia Joint Technology Assessment and Accelerated Commercialization Programme. It is done with the partnership of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises (FASIE) of the Russian Federation. The programme will connect Indian, and Russian Science & Technology (S&T) led SMEs and Start-ups for joint R&D for technology development and for cross-country technology adaptation.
Speaking at the launch on July 23, 2020, Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India said that India and Russia have a long-standing bilateral scientific cooperation. The launch of the India-Russia Joint Technology Assessment and Accelerated Commercialization Programme is another step towards strengthening the Science, Technology, and Innovation ties between the two countries.
D.B. Venkatesh Varma, Indian Ambassador to the Russian Federation, said “India has one of the largest startup ecosystems in the world, the number of unicorns is testament to the tremendous talent the country possesses. S&T-led innovation and entrepreneurship are priorities of both countries and will be a key point on the agenda as President Putin visits India later this year. There is a history of scientific cooperation between the countries, and with this initiative; we take the next step of commercialization.”
The General Director of Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises (FASIE), Russia Sergey Polyakov, said “We are extremely happy to launch the India-Russia Joint Technology Assessment and Accelerated Commercialization Programme. We are aware of the knowledge and expertise of India in the larger science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship ecosystems and our extremely happy to partner with India on this programme. We hope the innovations and technologies supported through this programme will help us face and overcome the challenges in this new normal.”
Shri SK Varshney, Adviser & Head, International Cooperation DST stated that both countries have been working for many decades in areas of science & technology cooperation resulting in knowledge generation, prototype development, and institution built up. There was a need to convert knowledge into products, and such a program would connect Indian and Russian scientific & production houses, researchers, entrepreneurs to address societal challenges, not only of two countries but globally.
The programme will run through two annual cycles with up to five projects to be funded under each cycle. Projects are being sought on leading S&T focus areas, including but not limited to, IT & ICT (including AI, AR, VR), Medicine & Pharmaceuticals, Renewable Energy, Aerospace, Alternative Technologies, Environment, New Materials, Biotechnologies, Robotics, and Drones. On behalf of DST, FICCI will implement the program in India.
Over a period of two years, the Department of Science and Technology will fund up to Rs. 15 Crores to ten Indian SMEs/Start-ups and FASIE will provide similar funding to the Russian projects. The programme will provide access to partial public funding for jointly selected projects with the participation of at least one start-up/SME from India and one SME from Russia. The selected projects will be required to bear partial funding as well, either through own funds or alternate sources of funding. In addition to financial support, the teams will also be supported through capacity building, mentorship, and business development.