By Lalit K Jha
In a significant move, India and the United States (US) have signed an agreement that would streamline the selection and funding process of research projects between scientists and engineers from the two countries.
The opportunities under the arrangement are broad and can nimbly adjust to strategic priorities and researcher interests in computer science and engineering, geosciences, math and physical sciences, engineering, and emerging technologies, the National Science Foundation (NSF), an independent agency of the US that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering, said on Wednesday.
“Through the creation of these opportunities, we are emphasising to the science and technology communities and the world that our governments are serious about breaking down barriers and facilitating collaboration,” said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan.
The Indian-American NSF director said that the implementation of the arrangement would leverage the strong scientific and cultural connections between the US and India.
India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, joined NSF officials in the signing ceremony held on Tuesday at the White House as part of the US-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies dialogue.
“The signing of the new implementation arrangement is a significant step. It will bring our scientific agencies and institutions closer and open new windows for joint research in strategic and technical areas, which would positively impact the prosperity of our peoples,” Sandhu said.
In the past five years, NSF has invested over USD 146 million in collaborative research activities with scientists, engineers and educators across India.
These partnerships have supported new economic opportunities and discoveries that are transforming and leading innovation that will benefit the world.
Last year in August, NSF announced 35 awards connecting researchers from universities across the US with scientists and engineers at several of India’s Technology Innovation Hubs.
Through these joint US-India research projects, principal investigators from both the nations are bringing their expertise together to accelerate the development of new technologies, tools and systems for mutual societal and economic benefit, a media release said.