ID :
Tue, 06/17/2008 - 11:50
Auther :


Toronto, June 17 (PTI) India and Canada have launched
ten joint initiatives worth USD 17 million to boost their
bilateral cooperation in the field of science and technology,
particularly to explore creative ways to develop
next-generation research as part of a pact signed in 2005.

The announcement was made by Indian Minister of
Science and Technology Kapil Sibal and Canadian Minister of
Foreign Affairs and International Trade David Emerson here.

"Our governments understand the need for establishing
international research partners and the critical role played
by Science and Technology in the new economy. These joint
projects will enhance the collaboration between our scientists
and commercialise their discoveries," they said in a joint
statement Sunday.

"The initiative will strengthen bilateral cooperation,
help the industry and will go a long way in uplifting the face
of rural India," the Indian Minister said.

Sibal underlined that the partnership is designed to
explore creative ways of developing next-generation research
cooperation between the two countries in the critical areas of
biofuels, particularly in the context of avoiding encroachment
on agri-foods—and nanotechnology applications.

Eight of the joint initiatives are in the field of
agriculture, environment, food processing, health IT, energy,
aeronautics and watershed management, and two are related to
partnership-development activities, Sibal said.

Under the latter, the University of Toronto in
collaboration with Tata Institute of Fundamental Research will
undertake projects of mutual benefits.

Canada-India Foundation (CIF) will be actively
involved in the partnership-development activities. The focus
will be to develop low-cost and affordable technology that
benefits the rural masses.

The joint activities between India and Canada is aimed
to facilitate commercially viable research and development
initiatives and assist in the organisation of seminars,
conferences and workshops.

"The Canadian portion of both projects and
partnerships is funded through the International Science and
Technology Partnerships (ISTP) and is delivered by
International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada (ISTP
Canada) - an arm's-length organisation," Canadian minister
Emerson said.

ISTP is a five-year, USD 20-million Canadian
programme, which aims to build stronger science and technology
relationships with other countries.

One project will study the use of biomimetic material
to integrate and repair the cornea of the eye. Another will
create a common modelling and simulation tool to test multiple
aircraft and air-related equipment for a new generation of
regional aircraft. There is also a joint project to study the
use of biofuels in aircraft gas turbine engines made from
Canadian and Indian feedstocks.

Co-operation between the two countries in the field of
science and technology has made substantial progress since the
signing of an overarching agreement in November 2005.

Areas of co-operation included biotechnology, health
research, medical devices, nanoscience and nanomedicine,
sustainable and alternate energy and environment technologies,
information and communications technology, and earth sciences
and disaster management.

In March, aerospace, bio-pharmaceuticals, photonics
and synchrotron science were added to the list, Sibal said,
adding that efforts are being made to enhance the current
trade of USD 3.7 billion by five times in the next five years.

A project involving Indian Institute of Technology,
Delhi, aims to use transponders to track the flow of vehicles
and reduce fuel consumption.

Some of the other projects identified include use of
acoustics to monitor the bottom of above-ground storage tanks;
development of a diagnostic tool to test dairy and cattle for
diseases such as bovine respiratory disease and mastitis and
permits broadband internet access on existing power line
technology in India.

The Indian minister met Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary
Secretary to Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs and
International Trade and key leaders of Indo-Canadian business
and cultural organisations.