Two countries emphasize the institutionalization of a joint working group on areas of mutual interest
Finnish Education and Culture Minister Petri Honkonen today called on Union Science and Technology Minister Dr Jitendra Singh in North Block to seek enhanced bilateral cooperation between both countries in the field of science, technology and innovation (STI).
He was accompanied by a high-level delegation which then held a separate meeting with the Indian delegation in the presence of the two ministers.
While Dr Jitendra Singh reiterated India’s emphasis on collaboration even in startups, the Finnish minister praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for handling the Covid pandemic as well as the efforts of the Union government of India to ensure vaccine development and immunization for all compatriots.
India and Finland have agreed to take the mutual cooperation between the two countries to a new level in a number of areas of bilateral and global interests. Two nations have decided to strengthen their cooperation in areas such as digital partnership in future ICTs, future mobile technologies and digital education. The two countries have also insisted on the institutionalization of joint working groups on areas of mutual interest.
This was reiterated by Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh and visiting Finnish Minister Petri Honkonen. This visit follows the announcement made by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Finnish counterpart Ms. Sanna Marin during a summit meeting on March 16, 2021.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said the bilateral STI collaboration between the two countries is an attempt to stimulate innovative R&D projects that address a specific need or challenge; demonstrate high industrial relevance and commercial potential; and aim to provide benefits to all participants, and more broadly, to both nations.
Dr. Jitendra Singh also recalled that following the signing of the joint statement during the visit of Mika Lintilä, Finnish Minister for Economic Affairs on April 18, 2022, the two parties have started a collaboration in Quantum Technologies. The Indian side has already identified four leading institutes, namely IISER, Pune, IIT Madras, TIFR Mumbai and C-DAC Pune to work with Finnish institutions on the joint development of Quantum Computer. The Minister expressed his satisfaction that experts from both sides are drawing up a detailed plan for the establishment of the Indo-Finnish Virtual Network Center on Quantum Computing and aims to develop a 20-qubit superconducting quantum computer in the 1st phase and to extend it up to 54 qubits in the second. phase.
Dr. Jitendra Singh told the Finnish Minister that India is keen to develop research collaborations with Finnish R&D institutions and technological collaboration with Finnish industry, especially focusing on the application of quantum computing in areas such as: sustainable energy technologies (generation, conversion, storage and conservation), environment and clean technologies, bioeconomy, biobanks and biobased materials for different applications of water and marine technologies, technologies food and agriculture, affordable health care (including pharmaceuticals and biomedical instrumentation) and technologies for advanced manufacturing. Integration of AI and Machine Learning in all areas.
Honkonen assured Dr. Jitendra Singh that Finland wants to cooperate with India in the areas of 5G, environment and clean technologies, bioeconomy, biobanks and affordable healthcare. He added that progress is also being made on issues flagged by the Prime Ministers of India and Finland.
India and Finland have strong ties in science, technology and innovation. Under the S&T agreement, the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Biotechnology, the Government of India and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland, together with Business Finland and the Academy of Finland have been working together successfully for over a decade.