During the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Portugal, Lisbon, the two sides signed MoUs for creation of an India Portugal Space Alliance and for advancing collaborative research.
These agreements will promote India’s science and technology partnership with Portugal, towards the establishment of a unique Centre on the Azores Archipelago – the Atlantic International Research Centre.
This Centre will act as a research, innovation and knowledge hub for trans-atlantic and north-south cooperation.
An international network of research and academic organizations will be created. The goal is to provide a shared environment to support research and foster new climate, earth, space and marine research.
With respect to space, cooperation is expected to include development and cooperation of next generation nano and micro satellites.
On marine sciences, the project would enable India to study the atmospheric and ocean behaviour of the Atlantic and its linkages with weather patterns including the Monsoon.
PM Modi’s Visit to Portugal:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Antonio Costa jointly visited the Champalimaud Foundation in Lisbon. The Champalimaud Foundation is a private biomedical research foundation. It provides cutting-edge cancer treatment, and supports “ahead of the curve” cancer research. It offers a new holistic approach to medical care, that integrates day to day treatment with research and innovation in a green environment, closely linked to nature.
The Centre’s design, which features a tropical garden, views to the river and sea, and plenty of sunlight, was designed by one of India’s most eminent architects: Charles Correa.
The Foundation represents multiple synergies between India and Portugal.
It is an institution dedicated to cancer research and treatment, underlined by the principle of holistic health that Prime Minister Modi has often emphasized. Cancer patients undergo a unique methodology in which they are connected to nature even as they go advanced medical treatments including chemotherapy.
The António Champalimaud Vision Award was established in 2007 to recognise contributions to research into eyecare and vision. Aravind Eye Care System, an Indian organisation, won the award in the first year.
Out of the 300 researchers from 42 nations, 3 researchers at the Foundation represent India.
Champalimaud Foundation has a tie-up with the Prasad Institute in Hyderabad. The largest number of overseas patients for cancer treatment in Champalimaud Foundation are from India.
The Prime Minister visited the facilities at the Foundation, and interacted briefly with Indian researchers.
Unique Startup Portal Launched:
Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Costa launched a unique startup Portal – the India-Portugal International StartUp Hub (IPISH) – in Lisbon.
This is a platform initiated by Startup India and supported by Commerce & Industry Ministry and Startup Portugal to create a mutually supportive entrepreneurial partnership.
IPISH hosts a range of tools and will provide information on the start-up hotspots of Bangalore, Delhi and Lisbon; and on associated subjects, such as policy, taxation, and visa options. It will develop a Go-To-Market Guide to support start-ups.
IPISH is expected to help in mutual capacity building, and enable connections between start-ups, investors, and incubators from relevant sectors. It is also expected to establish a network of honorary ambassadors based in India and Portugal to guide start-ups from both countries.