India, Australia join forces to bring innovation ecosystems of both countries together

New Delhi [India], March 11 (ANI): Australia’s national science agency — the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), India’s initiative for the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and think tank NITI Aayog have signed a letter of intent to encourage joint cooperation to drive innovation activities in areas of national challenges and shared priorities of both countries.

The move comes during the India visit of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese as he met the Indian Prime Minister Narendra on 10 March 2023 in New Delhi, according to a statement of NITI Aayog. The meeting between the Prime Ministers spanned areas of mutual interest and explored avenues of strengthening bilateral engagement in a range of key areas with innovation as one key item.

The LoI between AIM and CSIRO calls for a greater collaboration in areas of mutual interest and strategic priorities and serves as a general framework for cooperation intended to facilitate the development of more programme-specific interventions, informed the government through a release.

The core of the bilateral engagement is the India-Australia Innovation and Technology Challenge (IA-ITC) — a programme envisioned to bring together the innovation ecosystems of India and Australia.

According to the NITI Aayog statement, this will address our shared environmental and economic challenges by supporting cohorts of start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on their commercialisation pathways and bring to market innovative tech-based solutions spanning across circular economy, energy transition and food system resilience etc.

The programme intends to leverage the complementary capabilities and resources of the innovation ecosystem of both countries.

A circular economy entails markets that give incentives to reusing products, rather than scrapping them and then extracting new resources.

The IA-ITC builds on the success of the India Australia Circular Economy (IACE) Hackathon 2021, which witnessed university students, startups, and SMEs from both India and Australia develop innovative tech-based solutions for circularity in food-system value chain.

“We are thrilled to partner with CSIRO on fostering innovation and co-developing the India Australia Innovation and Technology Challenge,” said Chintan Vaishnav, Mission Director – AIM, NITI Aayog. “This partnership and the IA-ITC programme in particular is an exciting opportunity for India and Australia to collaborate at different levels of the ecosystem involving startups, SMEs, business incubators and accelerators, VCs and the industry. This will open new horizons in knowledge sharing and co-creation given CSIRO’s vast experience with Science and Technology programmes.””CSIRO is excited to partner with AIM and work towards solving shared global challenges. AIM has an impressive track record of fostering and leveraging world-class innovations and entrepreneurs. We look forward to combining our strengths and expertise to create scientific breakthroughs that make real-world social, economic and environmental impact,” said Jonathan Law, Executive Director for Growth, CSIRO.

According to the statement, AIM and CSIRO are currently working on the design and development of the IA-ITC programme delivery model to ensure the IA-ITC is sustainable, innovative, impactful and aligns with the strategic interests of both India and Australia. The official launch of the programme is expected to be in July 2023. (ANI)