More than 40 scientists, academics and researchers from leading institutions from both countries attend the very first meeting of the joint committee.
As part of the dynamic and multidimensional partnership between India and the Philippines, the very first meeting of the Joint Science and Technology Committee between the respective science and technology departments was successfully held on July 8.
The meeting was held to accelerate the implementation of the Bilateral Science and Technology Cooperation Program (POC), for the period 2019 to 2022, signed during the State visit of Indian President Shri Ram Nath Kovind to the Philippines in October 2019.
It brought together more than 40 scientists, academics and researchers from leading institutions from both countries, such as Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), CDAC, Department of Biotechnology , Indian Agricultural Research Council of India and DoST-PAGASA, DoST-ASTI, DoST-PCAARD and others from the Philippines. The meeting was co-chaired by SK Varshney, Advisor and Head, International Cooperation, Department of Science and Technology of India and Dr Rowena Cristina Guevara, Undersecretary for Research and Development at DoST.
In his inaugural address, Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran said science and technology-based solutions are at the center of our contemporary lives, especially in the context of the pandemic. Therefore, scientific and technological cooperation must be one of the most important elements of our dynamic bilateral partnership.
He further underlined the importance of building knowledge partnerships between the main research and development institutions of the two countries, as a key channel for bilateral engagement. For his part, the Ambassador of the Philippines to India, Ramon Bagatsing Jr., appreciated the constructive role played by the Indian TI-BPM industry in the Philippines, being one of the biggest earners in the national economy as well. as one of the largest foreign employers in the Philippines. which highlighted the potential for deeper engagement in the ICT sector, including new technologies.
Ambassador Bagatsing brought to the attention of DoST to seriously examine India’s science and technology capabilities and encourage the participation of Filipino academic researchers in the various cooperative initiatives, including the Asean-India PhD program. .
The meeting focused on discussions focused on five broad areas of cooperation described under the Cooperation Program (POC) on Science and Technology, namely agricultural biotechnology; health, pharmaceutical and medical sciences; Information and Communication Technologies (ICT); Materials science and technology; and Ocean and Atmospheric Science.
Participating researchers, academics, government agencies from both sides explored avenues for cooperation through joint research projects, capacity building activities such as online training as well as dedicated workshops and conferences, and l ‘exchange of relevant scientific and technological information and personnel in all major areas of cooperation such as agricultural biotechnology (new techniques for genome selection and editing, biofertilizers, soil fertilizers); Health, pharmaceutical and medical sciences (vaccine development and therapy); Information and communication technologies (AI applications in various fields and Blockchain technology); Materials science and technology (additive manufacturing and nanotechnology, green and sustainable packaging); and Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (marine and wave forecasting, monsoon meteorology).
The two sides also agreed to develop guidelines and launch a joint call for proposals for research and development in the areas identified during the year, including scholarships offered under the Asean-India program. .
Scientific and technological collaboration is likely to add a new dimension to the growing bilateral relationship, as India shares with the Philippines its knowledge on agricultural innovations, nanotechnologies, meteorology, biotechnology, vaccines, artificial intelligence , among others.