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7 Announcements Made During India-Sweden Policy Dialogue Both the countries have joined hands and has set up a pilot plant for the conversion of agri-waste into biocoal

By Shreya Ganguly

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India and Sweden's government has joined hands and launched a pilot to convert agricultural waste to high energy biocoal during India-Sweden High-Level Policy Dialogue on Innovation Policy. As a part of this initiative, the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, in partnership with technology development company Bioendev of Sweden, has set up a pilot plant for the conversion of agri-waste into biocoal.

The dialogue jointly inaugurated by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf on November 2 at Hyderabad House in New Delhi. The dialogue jointly formulated and implemented short- and long-term projects in strategic areas such as circular economy, digital health, artificial intelligence, sustainable energy, and future mobility.

Related Story: How the Swedish Business Community Can Benefit Indian Industry

Here are some of the major announcements made during the dialogue:

PM-STIAC Waste to Wealth Mission: The pilot for converting agricultural waste into biocoal has been established under this mission. According to the official statement, the following outcomes are expected from the pilot study:

  • Improved air quality with reduction of crop burning;

  • Reduced emissions from the use of biocoal as a clean energy source;

  • Livelihood generation opportunities for farmers as biocoal production creates new market linkages for agri-waste;

  • Biocoal can be used as a clean energy input source in thermal power plants as well as in households;

  • Capacity building through technology development and employment generation;

  • Soil quality improvement in fields from avoided crop burning.

The India-Sweden Collaborative Industrial Research & Development Programme: Both the countries together launched the research and development programme to focus on "smart cities and clean technologies' and "Digitization and Internet of Things'. The programme will be co-funded by Department of Science & Technology (DST), India and Vinnova, and the Swedish Innovation Agency. According to the official statement, the project aims to develop technologies which can be commercialized after two years through cooperation between the countries. "Vinnova will provide funding to Swedish side participants up to 2,500,000 SEK as a grant. On the Indian side, the conditional grant of up to 50 per cent with a limit of INR 1.5 crores per project to Indian project partners to be provided," the statement read.

Funding Bilateral Projects: The Department of Science & Technology (DST), India and Swedish Research Council will fund twenty bilateral projects in the area of Computer Science and Material Science under the Indo-Swedish Joint Network Grant Awards. Swedish Research Council will fund 14 million SEK for 2 years for this program. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) will provide activity matching funding to the Indian counterparts.

Strategic Indo-Swedish Cooperative Innovation Programme: Through this programme, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), India and Vinnova will work together to focus on the area of "digital health'. The program aims to provide scalable and implementable innovative, sustainable and flexible health solutions in both countries and use artificial intelligence-based technologies as a tool.

India-Swedish Collaborative Industrial Research & Development Programme: This programme co-funded by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), India and Swedish Energy Agency will work in the area of "Smart Grids'. According to the statements, Swedish Energy Agency allocated 25 million SEK over the next 4 years for this initiative.

Launch of Centre for innovation: Both the countries announced the establishment of "Joint Centre of Excellence in Innovation and Entrepreneurship' between KTH Royal Institute of Technology and IIT Madras. According to the statement, this centre will be located in Chennai and is the first of four planned centres. The joint centre is aimed at building cross-border teams to innovate and target both Sweden and India, as well as global markets.

MoU on cooperation in Polar Science: The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), India and the Ministry of Education and Research, Sweden have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in Polar Science. The two ministries will cooperate in the study of polar research by coordinating and sharing resources and data.

Shreya Ganguly

Former Features Writer

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