Businesses in Sweden, India taking concrete steps to meet challenges of green transition: Håkan Kingstedt, Chairman of SIBC

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Updated: October 25, 2021 2:58 PM

The online event themed “Accelerating India Sweden’s Green Transition” is hosted by India Unlimited in association with the Embassy of India in Sweden, Sweden-India Business Council (SIBC), industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Start-Up India.

Tanmaya LalTanmaya Lal, Ambassador of India to Sweden and Latvia and other top ministers from India and Sweden will be delivering their address during the day-long virtual event.

On October 26, 2021, India and Sweden are set to celebrate the 8th Innovation Day. The online event themed “Accelerating India Sweden’s Green Transition” is hosted by India Unlimited in association with the Embassy of India in Sweden, Sweden-India Business Council (SIBC), industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Start-Up India.

Tanmaya Lal, Ambassador of India to Sweden and Latvia and other top ministers from India and Sweden will be delivering their address during the day-long virtual event.

Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister for Science and Technology, Government of India and Ibrahim Baylan, Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation, Government of Sweden, Dr. Renu Swarup Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, Darja Isaksson, Director General, Vinnova; Sweden’s Innovation Agency.

Also present will be TV Narendran President, CII, Amit Chadha CEO & MD, L&T Technology Services; Robert Andren, Director General, Swedish Energy Agency; Martin Lundstedt CEO, Volvo Group. They will interact with the audience which will include decision makers from India and Sweden business/ government/ start-ups/ media ecosystems.

Håkan Kingstedt Chairman of Sweden – India business Council shares more about the agenda of the Innovation Day and much more with FE Online.

Following are excerpts

What is the agenda of India Sweden Innovation Day?

This one-day event will be divided into nine parts to discuss various aspects of climate change and the possible solutions to bring green transition and pioneer the possible.

The sessions will include an exchange of ideas over the implementation of digital technology and Artificial Intelligence to introduce climate-friendly solutions. The power of technology could not be overstated in combating the pandemic and resuming multiple operations to reach some level of normalcy. Hence harnessing it further in a creative manner will boost growth and development of any country, providing them with the much-needed help to recover in the post-pandemic era. Hence, the forum will lead discussions to analyze various aspects of technology concerning the two nations, including Sweden-India Tech Startup Ecosystems, Joint Investments in Technology, Healthcare, Energy, Transportation, Industry 4.0, Technology Parks and the scope of Artificial Intelligence.

India Unlimited was founded in 2013 to promote cross-cultural ties between India and Sweden in association with the Embassy of India in Sweden and Sweden-India Business Council. In the eight years, the organization has hosted a number of events in Stockholm and Gothenburg showcasing the diversity of Indian cultural, economic and social life.

How can the two countries work together for a green transition?

India is well on its way to meet and exceed its Paris Climate commitments. Sweden is in the same position. Sweden’s goal is of achieving net-zero emissions by 2045 and negative net emissions following that. What is most important however, in addition to setting up structures for our countries to work together, is the concrete steps business is taking to meet the challenges of green transition. India and Sweden are together in the UN led industrial transition programme and of course we have the impacts of innovation with the launch of Hybrit Green Steel, in a sector that accounts for approximately 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emission.

Sweden-India Business Council is of course working with our members to facilitate the roadmap for transition. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven visited India in 2016 during the Make in India week and with that the India Sweden Business Leader Roundtable (ISBLRT) was envisioned.

A CEO group of leading industrialists in both India and Sweden have come together to discuss the key issues affecting business and the need for unlocking opportunity in the future.

In 2018 India and Sweden signed the Joint Action Plan (JAP) to further promote bilateral cooperation. Under this overarching agreement, points of partnership included smart cities, innovation, and next generation transport. This continues to be the guiding framework for us.

SIBC works to operationalise such blueprints, and all initiatives. For example, one of the organisations we work with, the Swedish Environmental Research Institute has recently signed a MoU with National Environmental Engineering Institute (NEERI) to develop R&D partnerships. Around 37 Swedish startups signed up for the Ignite matchmaking challenge supported by the Swedish incubators and science parks (SISP) to find business-to-business collaborations with India within the arena of sustainable development and energy efficiency. SIBC works to connect these startups with large industry counterparts, together with Ignite.

Collaboration in the field of Science & Technology & Research and Innovation – how is this driving investments?

The India Sweden innovation collaborations are guided by the India Sweden Innovation Partnership and the Joint Action Plan. These have resulted in calls for research partnerships between India and Sweden. The Swedish Energy Agency put out a joint call in 2020, together with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) for innovation projects within smart grids in order to learn and co-create new solutions for climate change. Similarly DST has also put out a call with the Swedish Innovation Agency (Vinnova) for projects that can promote smart cities and road safety. SIBC is very happy to say that the Sweden Indian Transport Innovation and Safety Partnership (SITIS), a collaboration made up of 15 industry, academia, and government actors is part of this call. SIBC is the secretariat to SITIS.

More about bilateral relations between the two countries and cooperation in the defence and aerospace sector? And, what is SAAB in India offering for the Indian Air Force?

Sweden and India have had a MoU in Space since 1986 and the area for collaboration was further mentioned in the Sweden-India Joint Action Plan, agreed by Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018.

The Sweden India Joint Action plan highlights collaboration on space research, technology, innovation, and applications. It was again mentioned as an area of cooperation in the Joint Statement from the Sweden-India Virtual Summit in March of 2021 between the two prime ministers.

With Saab, Swedish Space Cooperation and L&T we work with both countries in the innovation and startup community and in the space ecosystem. Defence and space goes hand in hand.

Saab has been active in India since the mid 70’s and they have products in all branches of defense in India. They offer Gripen E / F to India for MRFA procurement and work actively with Indian industry to support Make in India.

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