India-Israel Friendship – Beginning of a New Era of Industrial Research and Development Cooperation

In a momentous milestone in S&T cooperation between India and Israel, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Industrial Research and Development Cooperation was signed between the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) under the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) of the Republic of India and the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), under the Ministry of Defense of the State of Israel.

Dr N Kalaiselvi, DG, CSIR and Secretary, DSIR thanked the Hon’ble Minister of State(IC), Ministry of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, GoI and Vice President, CSIR Society for gracing the meeting and his continued support to CSIR. She welcomed the dignitaries and gave an overview of CSIR, showcasing its technological and research prowess as also the ongoing collaboration discussions with DDR&D, Israel in Aerospace, Healthcare, Energy. Sharing CSIR’s priority topics she concurred to the interest of DDR&D for furthering collaboration with Israel in high technology areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Quantum and semiconductors, synthetic biology etc.

Acknowledging the ongoing cooperation efforts of CSIR and his team, Dr. Daniel Gold, Head, DDR&D envisioned that the CSIR-DDR&D cooperation would be beneficial for the welfare of both the countries. He added that DDR&D welcomes collaboration not only with R&D organizations but also with start-ups and companies, venture capitals on both sides. He apprised that AI and photonics are strengths of Israel and welcomed cooperation with CSIR in High Technology sectors which would pave the way for building a better future.

Stressing the successful completion of three decades of India-Israel successful diplomatic relations, Mr. Naor Gilon, Ambassador of Israel to India emphasised the close friendly relations between Israel and India, which have culminated into a strategic partnership after the complimentary visits of Prime Ministers of both the countries in 2018. The present CSIR-DDR&D cooperation would add another feather and be a milestone for India-Israel relations.

Dr N Kalaiselvi and Dr. Daniel Gold signed the CSIR-DDR&D MoU in the august presence of Hon’ble Minister of S&T, Government of India and Vice President, CSIR Society, Dr Jitendra Singh.

The MoU shall enable cooperation in the industrial R&D programs in mutually agreeable industrial technology fields through implementation of specific projects. The collaboration would encompass some of the key industrial sectors including Healthcare; Aerospace & Electronics Instrumentation; Civil, Infrastructure & Engineering; Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Sustainable Energy including Energy Devices; Ecology, Environment, Earth & Ocean Sciences and Water; Mining, Minerals, Metals & Materials; Agriculture, Nutrition & Biotechnology. The collaboration through the MoU would be steered and the execution monitored by a Joint Steering Committee led by the heads of the CSIR and DDR&D for taking forward mutually benefiting Industrial and technology cooperation.

Specific collaboration on Hydrogen and Aerospace currently under discussed between CSIR and DDR&D were briefed by Dr Abhay Pashilkar, Director, CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories (CSIR-NAL), and Dr Ashish Lele, Director, CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (CSIR-NCL); they welcomed collaboration on futuristic technologies in these domains, including in High Altitude Platform, Hydrogen Valley programs of CSIR, respectively.

Specific collaboration on Therapeutics between CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT) and M/s 101 Therapeutics for conducting clinical trials of a COVID-19 drug having enormous therapeutic potential was briefed; if successful this would prove to be highly appropriate and effective for preparation of future pandemics. The cooperation MoU between CSIR-IICT and M/s 101 Therapeutics was also signed during the meeting.

In his remarks, Dr Jitendra Singh said that it is a very important year in the S&T sphere of India under the leadership of PM of India as India is holding G20 presidency, celebrating the International year of Millets, as also India and Israel completed 30 years of successful diplomatic relations.

He apprised that CSIR has specialized laboratories in almost all the identified priority sectors therefore assured appropriate competence for this cooperation. For e.g. indigenous Hydrogen Fuel Cell bus by CSIR-NCL, purple revolution (Lavender cultivation) by CSIR-IIIM. He welcomed technology partnership with Israel and congratulated both sides for for their efforts to strengthen the India-Israel relationship.

Dr. Rama Swami Bansal, Head, International S&T Affaris Directorate (ISTAD), CSIR thanked the Hon’ble Minister for his continued support to CSIR, the team from Israel for building and formalizing the cooperation and her colleagues from CSIR and MEA for their kind and gracious presence during the MoU signing meeting today.

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