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India Canada S&T Cooperation Committee meeting held in Ottawa

1. The 5th India Canada Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee (JSTCC) Meeting was held in Ottawa on 12 June 2015. It was co-chaired Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology (DST), and Ms Christine Hogan, Deputy Minister of International Trade, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD).

The Indian delegation included officials from DST, the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of Biotechnology, Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA),VigyanPrasar and the High Commission of India, Ottawa.  The Canadian delegation included officials from DFATD, Natural Resources Canada, Environment Canada, Transport Canada, IC-IMPACTS, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canadian Science and Technology Museums Corporation, Grand Challenges Canada, MITACS, National Research Council, Universities Canada, Stem Cell Network, Zighra, York University/National Institute of Nanotechnology and Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

2. JSTCC finalised Action Plan proposals for 2015-17 in the areas of Biotechnology and Health, Environment, Infrastructure, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Energy Security and Nanotechnology and Communication.  Representatives of IC-IMPACTS and Grand Challenges Canada and experts engaged in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Science Communication and new initiatives in stem cell research deliberated on work progress in their respective areas in concert with their Indian collaborators.Both sides agreed on the scope for larger impetus to mutually beneficial interventions. They further recognized the opportunity to enhance cooperation through highly valued historical connections, renewed political-will and the large cultural and geographical landscapes. This includes the programmes and leads from such thrust areas as Clean India, Make in India, and Digital India as entry points.

3. The co-chairs formally signed the Action Plan 2015-2017, interalia agreeing to undertake joint initiatives in the following priority areas:

   (i) Biotechnology and Health (Including frontier areas of science such as stem cell research)
   (ii) Energy Research, including energy security, energy efficiency, clean energy technology, and renewable energy
   (iii) Environment, including technology for climate systems
   (iv) Nano Science and Technology
   (v) Science Communication
   (vi) Sustainable infrastructure
   (vii) Integrated Water Management
   (ix Joint Industrial Research and Development Projects
   (ix) Technology Commercialization, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
   (x) High Performance Computing and Applications
   (xi) Geo-Information systems
   (xii) Big Data and Technologies for Big Data management.

4. The Indian delegation interacted with experts in the Government of Ontario's Ministry of Research and Innovation and Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure and visited MaRS Discovery District in Toronto as a lead up to the meeting in Ottawa.  The delegation also visited the University of Toronto and Ryerson University to gain interesting insights about work in progress and opportunities for synergies in life sciences, including stem cell/regenerative medicine, the Thirty Meter Telescope project, and innovation and entrepreneurship. Discussions with the Canadian Science Writers Association, the Laurentian University and the Canada Science Museums Corporation strengthened the convergence of ideas in these areas too.

12 June 2015

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