Yesterday, I attended a Science and Technology Awareness Raising and Information Campaign in India organized at Nagpur. They are visiting almost 22 cities in India including tier 2/3 cities for promoting European Union's (EU) research focus and support system.
Lot of interesting things were shared including a memory stick containing detailed information on the research funding and opportunities provided by member states especially for Indians.
Two important things that stood out:
- There are funding opportunities available for individual researchers and SMEs under the European Union's 7th Research Framework Program. Especially in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), the research investment that has been made has been the maximum amounting to over 9 billion euros. The special support for funding research projects for SMEs is also an interesting endeavor to encourage application oriented research.
- There is a proper support system in the form of European Business and Technology Center (EBTC), which promotes innovative technologies and converts research into commercial ventures. Although their focus is on cleantech, however a lot of ICT get's involved here too. EBTC can help connect innovative, local businesses with European counterparts for collaborative programs.
The EU delegation campaign was an informative one, at Hotel Pride, Wardha road, Nagpur, with a delicious lunch that followed. However, only 20 odd people comprising of entrepreneurs, academicians and researchers attended the conference. The EU is opening up to India, but are we from emerging cities listening to the call?