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India's Changing Innovation System: Achievements, Challenges, and Opportunities for Cooperation: Report of a Symposium II PROCEEDINGS
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India's Changing Innovation System: Achievements, Challenges, and Opportunities for Cooperation: Report of a Symposium Welcome Remarks Ralph Cicerone National Academy of Sciences Recalling the excitement that surrounded the successful visit to Washington of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in July 2005, the first month of his own tenure at the head of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Cicerone expressed his pleasure at the convening of the day’s meeting, which was sure to afford a wonderful opportunity to explore the opportunities and challenges of greater cooperation in science and technology between India and the United States. India has a strong, rich, and productive creative tradition in science and mathematics of all kinds, so that while it is now a growing force in the global economy, it is far from new to science and technology. Advances in information technology make it possible for the United States to benefit from other countries’ innovative capabilities just as those others can benefit from America’s. However, the benefits of globalization also pose challenges. Globalization pushes companies, individuals, and public institutions alike to adapt. One of National Academies’ own recent reports, addressed to the U.S. Congress, stressed that with the pace of global competition increasing, the United States must adjust its policies and institutions if it is to compete in the future world economy.1 And the United States is hardly alone in needing to adapt. Countries around the world are seeking to accelerate the transfer of scientific knowledge from universities, laboratories, and individuals into the marketplace. “In this process we must learn from each other,” said Dr. Cicerone, calling that “the entire premise” of the conference. 1 National Academy of Sciences/National Academy of Engineering/Institute of Medicine (NAS/ NAE/IOM), Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future, Washington D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2007.
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India's Changing Innovation System: Achievements, Challenges, and Opportunities for Cooperation: Report of a Symposium From its “very amazing” list of attendees, dotted with the names of many distinguished Indians, he singled out for special welcome two of the country’s ministers—Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India, and Kapil Sibal, Minister of Science, Technology, and Ocean Development—as well as R.A. Mashelkar, who had been recently named a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences. He also recognized, representing the United States, Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman; John Marburger, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky; Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security David McCormick; and George Atkinson, science and technology adviser to the secretary of state. Dr. Cicerone extended his appreciation for sponsoring the meeting to the National Academies’ Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP Board) and to the numerous agencies that support it. Also singled out for thanks were Ram Shriram, a founding board member of Google, who had generously supported the day’s event; the Confederation of Indian Industry, which had provided much help with its organization; and India’s Ambassador to the United States, Ronan Sen, along with his staff. He then introduced Ambassador Sen. Ronen Sen Ambassador of India to the United States Ambassador Sen noted that this conference comes as Indo–U.S. relations are rapidly transforming and a multifaceted strategic partnership is emerging, opening up new avenues for cooperation. He added that most of the joint initiatives between the United States and India, especially those of the previous two years, have been driven by science and technology. This list includes: The Next Steps in Strategic Partnership: This bilateral agreement, concluded in 2005, has extended the prospects for cooperation to civilian uses of nuclear, space, and dual-use technologies. The U.S.–India High-Technology Cooperation Group: This group is paving the way for commercial partnerships in information technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and defense-production technologies. A new, 10-year Framework for the U.S.–India Defense Relationship: Concluded in 2005 at the ministerial level, the framework has established a joint Defense Procurement and Production Group. A Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement: This landmark agreement was signed in 2005 by Indian Minister of Science and Technology Kapil Sibal and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. A new U.S.–India Bi-National Science and Technology Endowment
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India's Changing Innovation System: Achievements, Challenges, and Opportunities for Cooperation: Report of a Symposium Fund: The purpose of this fund is to facilitate joint research projects with potential for industrial application. The U.S.–India Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture: An initial amount of $100 million, which has already been allocated, is bringing together research institutions and corporate entities in both countries for the purpose of raising agricultural productivity and increasing prospects for agro-industrial business in India. The U.S.–India Energy Dialogue: Launched in 2005 and cochaired by two of the day’s speakers—Minister Ahluwalia and Secretary Bodman—not only envisages the vitally important Agreement on Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation but covers such areas as oil and gas, clean-coal technologies, and renewable energy sources as well. The U.S.–India Disaster Relief Initiative: Adopted in the wake of successful joint tsunami relief efforts, this initiative is also technology driven. The U.S.–India HIV/AIDS Partnership: Established to tackle the disease on a global basis, this involves corporate entities in both countries in addition to the two governments. The U.S.–India Working Group on Civil Space Cooperation: This group is to renew and upgrade cooperation in space. The Agreement on Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation: While benefiting both countries, this agreement is also expected to have a positive global impact, in part by helping develop more environmentally friendly and proliferation-resistant technologies. In light of these many initiatives, as well as other recent initiatives listed, the Ambassador underscored that there could not have been a more opportune moment for a discussion of India’s changing innovation system. Welcoming all to the symposium, he congratulated Dr. Cicerone and his colleagues at the National Academies on the event’s timing. Dr. Cicerone introduced the next speaker, Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky, noting that she would be obliged to leave almost immediately after finishing her presentation.
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