Visiting Finland Minister of Economic Affairs, Mika Lintila, currently in India, today met 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 and the two Ministers announced the decision to establish an Indo-Finnish Virtual Network Centre on Quantum Computing.
Later, in the presence of Dr Jitendra Singh and his Finnish counterpart Mika Lintila, an MoU to this effect was signed by Secretary Science & Technology, Govt of India and Secretary Science, Govt of Finland. A formal briefing to the media was made after the conclusion of delegation-level talks led by the two Ministers on behalf of their respective countries.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, bilateral STI collaboration between the two countries is an attempt to stimulate innovative R&D projects that address a specific need or challenge, demonstrate high industrial relevance and commercial potential and aim to deliver benefit to both the nations.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that the Indian side has identified three premier institutes viz IIT Madras, IISER Pune and C-DAC Pune for Virtual Network Centre on Quantum Computing. He said, the move comes in the wake of the decision taken in the last Joint Committee meeting held in November 2020 to initiate cooperation in new emerging areas like 5G; Quantum Computing and Sustainability by involving, Academia, Industries and Start-ups of the two countries.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that the Department of Science & Technology has initiated several new mission mode programs like Electric Vehicles, Cyber Physical System, Quantum Technologies, Future Manufacturing, Green Hydrogen Fuel etc and sought joint collaboration with Finland in solving issues of societal challenges. The Minister said that the bilateral STI collaboration between the two countries is an attempt to stimulate innovative R&D projects that address a specific need or challenge, demonstrate high industrial relevance and commercial potential and aim to deliver benefit to both the nations.
Referring to the Virtual Summit last March between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of the Republic of Finland Ms. Sanna Marin, Dr Jitendra Singh pointed out that Finland’s leading role in clean and green technologies can help India’s drive towards sustainable development. The Minister recalled that India and Finland have strong bonding in Science, Technology and Innovation.
Dr Jitendra Singh told the visiting Finnish Minister Lintila that Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which has inter-disciplinary network of 37 laboratories is very keen to connect with partners from Finland for knowledge and expertise sharing in Green Transition by co-development/ deployment of cutting-edge technologies / products / solutions, especially of relevance to the common man and addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. He also shared that both India and Finland are consultative members of the Antarctic Treaty and have active stations in Antarctica. Finland would be hosting Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) in 2023 and India in 2024.
The Minister also underlined that India Meteorological Department (IMD) and Finnish Meteorological Institute has been cooperating in the field of Atmospheric Environment since 2014. Under this collaboration, Air Quality Forecasting models developed by FMI are customized for Indian region resulting in enhanced capability to forecast pollution events from microscale to regional scale so that pollution control authorities can take appropriate action. Under this cooperation, environmental impacts of changing aerosol emission over India are also being pursued. Dr Jitendra Singh said, India is keen to develop research collaborations with Finnish R&D institutions and technology collaboration with Finnish Industry especially focusing on the following technology domains and application of Quantum Computing in areas such as: Sustainable Energy Technologies (generation, conversion, storage and conservation), Environment and Clean Technologies, Biobased Economy, BioBanks and Bio based materials for different applications, Water and Marine Technologies, Food & Agri Technologies, Affordable Healthcare (including, Pharmaceuticals and Biomedical Instrumentation), Technologies for Advanced Manufacturing, Integration of AI and Machine Learning in all domains.
The visiting Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs Lintila assured Dr Jitendra Singh that Finnish companies will partner with India for Carbon-neutral technologies and enhance cooperation for Sustainability in Climate Change. The Finnish Minister also invited India to explore the possibility of deeper cooperation in Finland’s Biobank project to mediate high quality human samples to medical research to promote development of new products and services that promote public health.
Indian delegation included Secretary, M/o Science & Technology, Secretary, M/o Earth Sciences and DG, CSIR and representatives of other science ministries.