U.S.-India Science and Technology, Innovation, and Health Cooperation
Science and technology cooperation between the United States and India strengthens our bilateral relationship, promotes economic growth, and allows us to develop new and innovative technologies and products to address shared challenges. The United States and India believe that science, technology, and innovation are key tools that will help us address global challenges such as climate change, health, education, food, water, and energy security. Both countries support cutting edge research and are building public-private partnerships that promote science and technology-based innovation and entrepreneurship. The United States and India also recognize the importance of gender equality in the scientific workforce, and have conducted numerous exchanges to encourage increased participation of women and girls in science. Over the past year, two bilateral endowments – the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) and U.S.-India Science and Technology Endowment Fund – have provided roughly $3 million to fund hundreds of exchange visits and support technology commercialization through U.S.-India joint ventures.
- India-U.S. Technology Summit: The India-U.S. Technology Summit will take place in New Delhi, November 18-19, under the theme “Tackling 21st Century Challenges Together.” The Summit will include participation from several hundred companies, academic institutions, and scientists, and will build productive partnerships in joint research and development, technology commercialization, and joint business ventures designed to promote trade and investment between our two countries. The Summit’s main components include a government-to-government program led by the Indian Department of Science and Technology and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; and a Trade Show and Exhibition for Indian and U.S. companies and economic development organizations to promote their products, services and technologies. The Summit will feature expert panels including innovators, businesses, financiers, regulators and community stakeholders. The featured sectors include manufacturing technology, processes and equipment; life sciences, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and healthcare; clean and renewable energy; sustainable cities, natural resources and earth sciences; and IT hardware, software, embedded systems, and homeland and cyber security. (www.indoustechnologysummit.in)
- U.S.-India Science and Technology Joint Commission Meeting: The Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) will be held November 14-17 in New Delhi. Co-Chaired by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and India’s Ministry of Science and Technology, the JCM provides strategic guidance to science agencies on the overall direction of S&T relations, identifying current and future areas for collaboration. Representatives in the JCM also discuss policy issues such as women in science and innovation and technology commercialization, and they provide strategic direction to the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum and the Science and Technology Endowment Fund, which are able to utilize funds to implement outcomes of the JCM.
- Science and Technology Endowment Fund: The U.S.-India Science and Technology Endowment Board announced awards under the Fourth Call for proposals under the Science and Technology Endowment Fund. The Endowment Fund supports and fosters joint applied R&D to generate public good through the commercialization of technology developed through sustained partnerships between U.S. and Indian researchers and entrepreneurs. The Fund’s most recent annual awards support the development of innovative projects under the “Healthy Individual” and “Empowering Citizens” categories of Board objectives. U.S. and Indian collaborators received awards to support a range of projects such as developing low-cost medical examination equipment, producing affordable safe drinking water, developing stress-tolerant crops, and commercializing low-cost building materials for low-income housing.
- U.S.-India Millennium Alliance: The USAID-supported Millennium Alliance uses partnership platforms to convene traditional and non-traditional actors to accelerate innovative models that address global development challenges in the health, agriculture, water, energy, and education sectors. The Millennium Alliance brings together public and private partners to leverage Indian creativity, expertise, and resources to source and scale innovative solutions to development challenges that affect base of the pyramid populations across India and the world. USAID also supports several other innovation platforms such as the READ Alliance, Urban Water/Sanitation/Hygiene (WASH) Alliance, India-Africa Agriculture Bridge, CLEAN Off-Grid Alliance, Tuberculosis Alliance, and Reproductive Maternal/Newborn/Child Health (RMNCH) Alliance, all aimed at using public-private partnerships to harness S&T and innovation expertise to address major development challenges.
- Civil Space Cooperation: The U.S. and India continue to carry out and expand upon cooperation taking place under the U.S.-India Civil Space Joint Working Group (CSJWG). NASA and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) continue to make progress on the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission. This mission is intended to generate a vast bank of earth observation data for use in novel applications by researchers to benefit global food security, freshwater availability, human health, disaster prediction and hazard response, climate risks and adaptation, and urban management and planning. NASA is providing deep space navigation and tracking support to ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) as it continues its journey in space and prepares for its arrival at the Red Planet in late September 2014, just two days after NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission completes its journey. NASA and ISRO look forward to discussing ways to collaborate on these two Mars missions to take advantage of their complementary observations. NASA and ISRO, along with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as a Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission partner continue productive cooperation on the ISRO-French Space Agency (CNES) Megha Tropiques mission. NASA, NOAA, and ISRO also continue effective cooperation in the calibration, validation, and application of ocean color observation data, and until recently, of ocean surface vector wind data, on ISRO’s Oceansat-2 mission. NOAA looks forward to collaborating with ISRO on future follow-on ocean surface vector wind missions. NASA and ISRO have initiated a professional engineer and scientist exchange program. The United States and India also look forward to continued discussion regarding the development of India’s regional navigation satellite system in a manner that is compatible and interoperable with GPS.
- Safe Drinking Water: USAID is prioritizing public-private alliances in densely populated urban areas for targeted investments in water and sanitation. The partnerships will work to reduce preventable morbidity and mortality among poor urban children and women through innovative solutions for improved water and sanitation practices and services. The first partnership will initially provide safe drinking water to approximately 31,250 households in slums across 25 wards in Bangalore, with potential to scale significantly.
- Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths: India’s Minister of Health visited the United States in June 2014 to discuss U.S.-India cooperation in health, including India’s role as a co-convener of the Child Survival Call to Action. In support of the Child Survival Call to Action, USAID announced plans to partner with a leading Indian private sector management firm, bringing together the public and private sectors to scale up effective solutions to end preventable child and maternal deaths in India by 2035. The partnership reaffirms the commitments both governments have made in support of the global Call to Action. The new partnership supports national-level policy development and implementation across 184 highly burdened Indian districts and strengthened service provision in up to 11 states with high rates of child and maternal deaths. USAID is also working with India to highlight India's achievements as a model for other countries to improve their health outcomes. Through the SHARE (South to South HIV-AIDS Resource Exchange) partnership, India's successful HIV/AIDS prevention, care, support, and treatment efforts are being shared with African countries.
- Global Health Security Agenda: India and the United States plan to partner with other nations through the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) to accelerate progress toward a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats and to promote global health security as an international security priority.
- Health Research: The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has developed a robust relationship with India's medical research community in the biomedical and behavioral health sciences. New and ongoing research partnerships focus on diabetes research, low-cost medical devices, and vaccine development. The Rotavac vaccine for rotavirus, developed through an innovative public-private partnership involving government, private sector, and academic partners, has entered the Indian market, where it has the potential to save the lives of thousands of children each year. The Department of Biotechnology within the Ministry of Science and Technology and NIH currently implement Indo-U.S. Collaborative Programs on Low-Cost Medical Devices, Vision Research, Brain Research, and Cancer Research.
- Antimicrobial Resistance: India and the United States share a concern about the emergence and spread of disease organisms resistant to medications from antimicrobial resistance (AMR). We are pursuing opportunities to collaborate on evidence-based actions at local, national, regional, and global levels to prevent AMR and ensure the continued availability of effective measures (e.g., antibiotics) for the treatment of microbial infections.
- Environmental and Occupational Health and Injury Prevention and Control: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Indian Council of Medical Research) are finalizing a Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental and Occupational Health and Injury Prevention and Control. The MOU would develop further cooperation in research efforts, education and training and capacity-building activities, in a number of focus areas including public health aspects of household and ambient air pollution, water quality and access, exposures to hazardous substances, strengthening of laboratory capacity, road safety and burn injuries.
- High-Energy Physics Cooperation and Accelerator Research and Development: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Indian Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) are working toward signing two project annexes under a DOE-DAE implementing agreement. The project annexes aim to facilitate and promote cooperation on accelerator R&D and related sciences to further our understanding of fundamental physics.