Further strengthening the Indo-Israel relations, Experts from both countries deliberated on widening the scope of the India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F) at its 8th Governing Body meeting. They approved three joint R&D projects totaling 5.5 million $ and proposed measures to create a larger India-Israel collaborative ecosystem.
Dr. S Chandrasekhar, Secretary, DST & India Co-Chair, acknowledging the contribution made by Israel to S&T said, the I4F programme has a lot of potential. This board meeting will give us new thoughts, new directions on how to go forward.”
He mentioned that the Prime Minister of India declared January 16th as ‘Innovation Startup Day,’ which is a significant milestone for India. Given that this is DST’s 50th year of operation, it will be a great year with more and more Industries coming forward,” he added.
Dr. Amiram Appelbaum, Co-Chair, Israel, and Chairman of the Board, IIA, said “Despite the difficult times of the pandemic, it is important to continue the efforts of collaboration. I4F is one of the examples of collaborations that we want to carry forward. We look forward to going through interesting applications of projects submitted in this programme,” he stressed.
The governing body approved the Minutes of the Seventh Governing Board Meeting, which was followed by approval of three joint R&D projects totaling 5.4 million dollars. The projects were titled Centrally Monitored IoT Nanosensors for Molecular Diagnostics in Healthcare and Screening Applications, NoMoreMos- a mosquito control biological solution, and IoT enabled satellite communication for real-time agriculture and environment data collection across India.
The members also discussed the status of ongoing I4F projects since 2018. The Israeli side unveiled the new I4F website and matchmaking platform, created as a means of increasing the popularity of the joint programme, as well as a list of programmes planned for 2022.
They also unanimously agreed on a strategy for the new phase of I4F 2.0, which included broadening the fund’s scope by determining the technical feasibility and market acceptability of new products or technologies, co-developing products or technologies for commercialization, and co-testing products or technologies for commercialization in R&D and pilot areas. It also included co-developing disruptive technologies in strategic sectors with research performers, as well as involving academia. The members have also suggested the need to focus on Partnership Development Activities like more business activities with Indian and Israeli companies and startups through a series of online events, follow-up B2B meetings.
About India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund:
India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F) fund is a collaboration between the Department of Science and Technology (DST), and the Israel Innovation Authority, to promote, facilitate and support joint industrial R&D projects between companies from India and Israel to address the challenges in the agreed ‘Focus Sectors’. The goal of I4F is to promote, facilitate and support joint industrial R&D, which would lead to the co-development and commercialization of innovative technologies that can benefit both nations. The Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA) is appointed to implement the I4F program in India, while Israel Innovation Authority is the implementing agency in Israel.
India announced its recognition of Israel in1950. Since the upgradation of relations in 1992, defence and agriculture formed the two main pillars of the bilateral engagement between both nations.
In recent years, relations have seen rapid growth across a broad spectrum of areas and the future vision of cooperation, also bilateral trade has diversified into several sectors such as pharmaceuticals, agriculture, IT and telecom, and homeland security.
About Indo-Israeli Agriculture Project:
In the agricultural sector, both countries have jointly developed new crop varieties and share post-harvest technologies following the success of the 10-year-old Indo-Israeli Agriculture Project (IIAP) whose accomplishments include the successful growing of cherry tomatoes in Haryana, rejuvenating mango orchards in Maharashtra, and demonstrating to Indian farmers the effectiveness of state-of-the-art irrigation technologies.