India, Aus join hands for innovation in areas of national challenges

India, Aus join hands for innovation in areas of national challenges
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New Delhi, Mar 11: India and Australia have joined forces to drive innovation in areas of national challenges and shared priorities of both countries, an official said on Saturday.

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) -- Australia's national science agency, have joined hands by signing a Letter of Intent (LoI) to encourage cooperation to drive innovation activities, a statement said.

The move came during the visit of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to India as he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday in Delhi.

An official said that the meeting between Modi and Albanese spanned across areas of mutual interest and explored avenues of strengthening bilateral engagement in a range of key areas with innovation as one key item.

The LoI between AIM and CSIRO calls for a greater collaboration in areas of mutual interest and strategic priorities and serves as a general framework for cooperation intended to facilitate the development of more programme specific interventions. The core of the bilateral engagement is the India-Australia Innovation and Technology Challenge (IA-ITC) -- a programme envisioned to bring together the innovation ecosystems of India and Australia. The programme intends to leverage the complementary capabilities and resources of the innovation ecosystem of both the countries. According to a statement, the IA-ITC builds on the success of the India Australia Circular Economy (IACE) hackathon 2021, which witnessed university students, start-ups, and SMEs from both India and Australia develop innovative tech-based solutions for circularity in food system value chain.

Chintan Vaishnav, Mission Director - AIM, NITI Aayog said: "We are thrilled to partner with CSIRO on fostering innovation and co-developing the India Australia Innovation and Technology Challenge." "This partnership and the IA-ITC program in particular is an exciting opportunity for India and Australia to collaborate at different levels of the ecosystem involving start-ups, SMEs, business incubators and accelerators, VCs and the industry. This will open new horizons in knowledge sharing and co-creation given CSIRO's vast experience with Science and Technology programmes."

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