NEW DELHI: Switzerland, yesterday, said it will join hands with India for the next phase of bilateral cooperation in the field of science and technology. The Swiss government also described India as one of the "emerging global players in research and innovation". During the fourth Switzerland-India Joint Committee meeting earlier this week, both countries set the course for future bilateral cooperation in the field of research, the Swiss government said in a release.
The meeting, held here on November 21, was aimed at evaluating the latest cooperation and processes while the delegations "defined the next phase of the bilateral programme".
"The discussions resulted in an agreement that the Indian Department for Biotechnology (DBT) and the SNSF would launch a joint call for projects at the beginning of 2018," the release said.
Apart from the bilateral framework agreement, there are more than 90 cooperation agreements between Swiss and Indian higher education and research institutions.
According to the release, researchers from India are involved in more than 90 SNSF projects.
"India is one of the emerging global players in research and innovation, thanks to excellent research centres and a considerable talent pool," the release said.
Since 2003, both countries have a bilateral framework agreement on scientific and technological cooperation. "In the context of this agreement, there have already been 55 joint research projects and a good 90 exchange grants. Altogether, researchers and students from around 20 Swiss and 70 Indian higher education institutions have benefited from the bilateral agreement," the release said.
The research areas covered include biosciences and materials sciences, nanotechnologies, health and medical sciences, urban development and sustainable energy.
On the sidelines of the November 21 meeting, the 'Academia Industry Training Programme' was opened by swissnex India for the fourth time.
"To date, the programme has supported 24 Swiss researchers in the commercialisation of their research results in India," the release said.
The next meeting of the Joint Scientific Committee is scheduled to take place in Switzerland in 2019.
"While there were fewer than 300 Indian students studying in Switzerland in 2005, by 2016 more than 900 Indians enrolled at a public Swiss university," the release said.