4th edition of ASEAN India Grassroots Innovation Forum (AIGIF) launched


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India along with 10 ASEAN Member States (AMS) were represented by 200 participants, at the 4th edition of the annual ASEAN India Grassroots Innovation Forum (AIGIF) that was launched in Langkawi, Malaysia on 28th November 2023.

The AIGIF is an annual programme focused on fostering a strengthened relationship between India and AMS on the premise of cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). While on one side it aims to give exposure to social innovations in different countries, it also strengthens governance in the grassroots innovation ecosystem.

The annual program is a collaboration between the ASEAN Committee on Science, Technology, and Innovation (COSTI); Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India; National Innovation Foundation (NIF) – India and the Science and Technology Ministry of the host nation, Malaysia’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) in the year 2023. Yayasan Inovasi Malaysia (YIM) is an agency under MOSTI which is executing the AIGIF this year.

Mr YB Chang Lih Kang, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Government of Malaysia launched the AIGIF 2023. He noted that year-on-year flagship programmes like AIGIF continue to serve as a dynamic platform for showcasing and promoting innovations that have the potential to significantly impact lives at the grassroots level.

He urged countries to continue their commitment towards social innovations and to collectively ensure that tomorrow is better than today for everyone. He further added that all participating nations should continue their commitment in supporting the cross-border mechanisms, information sharing of best practices and networking of ASEAN linkages to global and regional networks to improve their innovation and technology capability, entrepreneurs’ resilience, and sustainability.

Speaking on the occasion, Professor Abhay Karandikar, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India said “Innovators are our hope for the world.”

“We must discover them more often and “do whatever it takes” to support them, if we want to make the world a better place to live. The time has come when we should define “cooperation” in ways like never before. We must think around possibilities like Joint Technology and Product Development, Cross Border Technology Licensing opportunities, offering Infrastructure available to one country and perhaps lacking in the other, dissemination and social diffusion, so as to raise the profile of new age technologies in the broader continent and region,” Professor Karandikar said in his address through video conferencing.

Mr. B. N. Reddy, High Commissioner of India to Malaysia said that India has emerged as key nation for the start-ups which are making their presence felt in different parts of the world, including few unicorns rooted in India also operating in Malaysia. He stressed that platforms like AIGIF can create opportunities for students and the grassroots population in each of the participating countries to learn something new every year, and it should translate into greater co-operation between India and AMS. He urged industry to connect with grassroots innovations and translate them into sustainable solution for the society.

Mr. Awang Haji Mohammad Nazi Haji Mohammad Yusof, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Info-communications, Brunei Darussalam, Chairman of ASEAN Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI); Dr Arvind C Ranade, Director, NIF; Dr Sulakshana Jain, Scientist E, International Cooperation Division, DST, Government of India; other staff members of NIF, a total of 17 student innovators and grassroots innovators from India were present while the total representatives from 11 countries were about 200.  

Building upon the triumphs of past editions in Jakarta, Indonesia (2018), Davao, Philippines (2019), and Phnom Penh, Cambodia (2022), AIGIF 2023 magnifies its commitment to surmount societal challenges through heightened participation and collaboration at Langkawi, Malaysia.

On the sidelines of the 4th AIGIF the Indian delegation called on Mr. B. N Reddy, High Commissioner of India to Malaysia and benefitted from his perspectives on ASEAN and important role that STI continues to play in its strengthened relationship with India.

 

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