Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today launched a major futuristic PPP (Public Private Participation) mode initiative for ‘Clean Energy’ with the full launch of “Mission Integrated Bio-refineries” to accelerate Clean Energy solutions through Public -Private Alliances.
After launching the Mission, Dr Jitendra Singh reiterated India’s commitment to a low-carbon future through “Mission Innovation”, centred on technology advancement and cooperation, zero waste bio-refinery for cost effective production of sustainable bio-fuels with co-production of bio-based chemicals and materials, using bio-technological interventions. He said, the Mission Integrated Bio-refineries unites a dynamic and results-oriented partnership of countries, international organizations, the corporate sector, academic institutions and civil society to accelerate innovation for renewable fuels, chemicals, and materials for a low- carbon future.
It may be recalled that the full launch of “Mission Integrated Bio-refineries” comes in the wake of the soft launch by Dr Jitendra Singh in November last year at COP26 side event at the Mission Innovation Annual Gathering, aimed at boosting global confidence in emerging clean energy solutions through Collaborative actions.
Dr Jitendra Singh assured that under the visionary leadership of our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India is committed to transform the energy landscape of the country with significant clean energy share. The Minister has also announced the National Funding Opportunity on Sustainable Aviation Fuels to support and conduct RD&D (Research, Development & Demonstration) to foster bio- technological innovations for low carbon pathways for cleaner biofuels for aviation applications.
Dr Jitendra Singh announced the funding opportunity of Hydrogen Valley Platform, which is also a global initiative to optimise the hydrogen demand and supply by onsite generation and utilization, utilize the renewable resources effectively, and water excess areas with geographical identity. The Minister stated that the H2 Valleys objectives will be achieved through cohorts of clean hydrogen valleys to combine complete hydrogen value chain (production, storage and transportation) with the aim of reaching critical scale and unlocking learning curve effects. He also added that DST has committed to facilitate the delivery of three clean hydrogen valleys in India by 2030.
Dr Jitendra Singh also launched three Material Acceleration Platforms (MAP) set up by Department of Science and Technology (DST) on Integrated Clean Energy Material Acceleration Platform on Storage, Integrated Clean Energy Material Acceleration Platform on Materials and Integrated Clean Energy Material Acceleration Platform on Bioenergy and Hydrogen with a total cost of $ 6 Million USD. He enumerated that these platforms would leverage emerging capabilities in next-generation computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, and robotics to accelerate the pace of materials discovery up to 10 times faster.
Dr Jitendra Singh also announced ‘National Funding Opportunity on Sustainable Aviation Fuels’ to support and conduct RD&D (Research, Development & Demonstration) to foster technological innovations in advanced biofuels for aviation applications. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) solicits applications from principal investigators (PI) from Indian institutions to advance science and technology critical to understanding critical gap areas, technological innovations for advanced bio-jet fuels, and globally acceptable cost-effective business model(s).
The Minister said, India, through “Mission Innovation”, is actively engaged in collaborative efforts to catalyse inspiring innovation goals by leading in scale up of affordable clean energy solutions. Greenhouse gas emissions from the transport and chemical sectors account for about one-third of the global emission and are projected to increase. India through the Department of Biotechnology has been promptly supporting R&D in Sustainable Aviation Biofuels.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that India is making all round efforts to make the planet cleaner and greener through multifaceted biotechnological research and development interventions in the areas of clean energy, plastic pollution by providing alternatives through genomics and synthetic biology approach as well as waste management by converting it to valuable products. He also informed that Department of Biotechnology has initiated programme to tackle micro-plastic pollution and alternatives to single use plastic using biotechnological interventions and to Development and demonstration of bio refinery technologies must be at the forefront of our efforts to create a low-carbon future that is sustainable for society’s well-being as well as environmentally friendly.
The Minister emphasised that Prime Minister Narendra Modi accords high importance to Science and technology and is committed to address the challenges facing the country through tools and techniques that the S&T offers. He said, it is true that our scientific achievement does make our nation proud as it signifies the advancement of scientific excellence in the high technology area. However, the real test of scientific pursuit is judged by the impact it makes on the lives of the people, he said. Use of scientific knowledge for providing cleaner natural resources will bring people’s confidence and faith in extraordinary capabilities of our scientists and scientific institutions, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh lauded that the Ministry of Science and Technology is the country’s largest extramural research funding organisation. While a large chunk of our funding goes towards knowledge generation, we have also taken proactive initiatives to address critical challenges in the area of energy through application of science and technology. India continues to engage in affordable clean energy innovations and developments.