Germany, India to develop jointly new-era technologies


Berlin : Germany and India plan to jointly develop new technologies as part of a “new era” in their science cooperation, Germany’s minister of science, Annette Schavan, said Monday.

Support TwoCircles

She spoke just hours before Chancellor Angela Merkel was to land in India for a four-day visit.

Schavan is a member of the delegation accompanying the chancellor. During the visit, an agreement is to be signed to establish the German-Indian Science and Technology Centre, set to open next summer in Delhi.

“India is highly attractive for the Germans,” Schavan told DPA and added that the close cooperation would bring a burst of energy.

There was already a solid basis for science and technology cooperation, and both sides could learn from the other. Germany could learn much from India’s purposefulness in building a knowledge-based society, she said.

She said the battle against climate change created a major export opportunity for German business in India.

“We are a top components supplier, thanks to our developments in solarthermy (collecting the warmth of the sun) and photovoltaics (generating electricity from solar energy).”

There was also a big future in breeding new plant hybrids.

Schavan said she was confident India would commit itself within a UN framework to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and would not follow the example set by the United States.

Schavan said the new centre in Delhi would have an applied focus, linking scientific and corporate laboratories in fields such as machinery construction, health care and renewable energy.

The two nations aim to step up their joint research on infectious diseases.

“We are creating a form of continuous cooperation. It could be exemplary,” she said. “For emerging economies, everything turns on technological advances.”

The German federal government is also to step up student exchanges with India. The federal agency that oversees placements, DAAD, will double its budget for exchanges with India from 2009 onwards.

“The more research cooperation we plan, the more important it is that we have a supply of scientists who have already got to know the other country,” she explained.