New Delhi: On the first day of his three-day, three-city visit to India, Britain's Minister of State for Universities and Science Jo Johnson launched the UK's partnership of the 2016 Technology Summit and KnowledgExpo along with his Indian counterpart, the Minister for Science and Technology, Dr Harsh Vardhan.
The Government of India's Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) have jointly organised India's largest technology partnership platform for the past 20 years, promoting technology and trade and investment in India.
The UK will be the partner country for next year's event which will be held in New Delhi from 24-26 October 2016. The Summit will offer India and the UK a new platform to identify partnership opportunities and build on existing bilateral programmes in business, research, science and innovation.
Johnson said, "The UK's partnership of India's 2016 Technology Summit and KnowledgExpo is a unique opportunity for our countries to demonstrate our world class collaboration in education, innovation and entrepreneurship."
He added, "The Technology Summit and KnowledgExpo will be a standout platform for innovative businesses and thought leaders in 2016. I am delighted to be here today with DST and CII to formally launch these events, which are indicative of the rapidly growing partnership between India and the UK in these areas."
Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, "In the recent meeting between the two Prime Ministers, science, technology and innovation was recognised as an important pillar in the bilateral Indo-UK partnership."
He further stated, "The holding of the Technology Summit next year with UK as the partner country will be a flagship event to mark 2016 as the Indo-UK Year of Education, Research & Innovation. The Summit shall provide platform for linking scientific knowledge generation to market and economic growth of both the nations."
Johnson also announced the continuation of the UK's Newton Fund, with funding secured to 2021. Newton was established by the British Government to promote international science and innovation partnerships. Johnson celebrated the joint investment in UK-India research, which has grown from less than a million pounds in 2008 to over 200 million pounds today.
Johnson emphasised the need for collaboration between the two countries on ocean science, big data and high value manufacturing, expressing the UK's commitment to support Prime Minister Modi's flagship 'Make in India' campaign.
British and Indian business leaders and senior academics, including Dame Nancy Rothwell, the Vice Chancellor of Manchester University and Professor Colin Riordan, Vice Chancellor of Cardiff University also participated in the discussions led by the two ministers.