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Indo-German Scientific Collaboration set for dynamic growth Print E-mail
Written by Arjun   
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Bangalore: Germany has chosen India (New Delhi) to be one of the five countries in the world for setting up the German House for Research and Innovation (DWIH, New Delhi).

Prof.Dr. Ing Matthias Kleiner, President of the German Research Foundation, DFG, said that there is a lot of potential for growth in Indo-German scientific collaboration along different dimensions. He said that DFG would be interested in establishing Indo- German Virtual Research Centers in Bangalore, provided there are initiatives from scientists on both sides.

Talking about the German House for Research and Innovation(DWIH) to be inaugurated in New Delhi in 2012, Dr. Kleiner said, "The DWIH will serve as a 'one-stop shop' for interested students, researchers,and potential partner institutions and disseminate information about the German higher education and research landscape and funding sources."

"All the partners I have met and the meetings I have attended only confirm and highlight the dynamic partnership in science between India and Germany – especially with reference to the status and perspectives of DFG funding opportunities with special focus on science in Karnataka and Kerala," he said.

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is the central self-governing organisation responsible for promoting research in Germany. Currently DFG has three Indian partners, the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and the University Grants Commission (UGC).

The idea of creating the German House for Research and Innovation is to bring all the German academic and scientific organizations and funding bodies under one roof and to present a concerted front to the Indian public at large, and in particular the academic and scientific community in India. Besides the funding organizations, a number of German universities as well as academic foundations have also expressed their keenness to be a part of this consortium.

During the first week of November this year,the German Research Foundation , DFG, had released the results of a study entitled," Analysis of India's S&T Research Capabilities and International Collaborative Strength, particularly in the context of Indo-German collaboration". The findings of the study show that   Germany, after USA, is the most productive partner in collaborative research with India in science and technology. During 2004-2009, the Indo-German overall scientific collaboration grew at an annual average growth rate of 6.8%. Thirteen percent of all Indian publications in international collaboration have been shared with authors from Germany.

Kleiner said that DFG expects a higher publication performance in the future thanks to a more systematic approach to project cooperation through International Research Training Groups (IRTG) or Priority Programs supported by DFG.

"We are looking at very broad areas of cooperation. There are a wide variety of institutions in Bangalore, which we are very keen to develop partnerships with German universities," said Dr. Ingo Karsten, Consul General of the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bangalore. He gave the example of the Centre of excellence set up by Lapp at the R.V. College of Engineering in Bangalore.

Prof.Dr. Ing Matthias Kleiner interacted with Prof. Dr. C.N.R. Rao, Chairman, Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India about the changing scenario of scientific and technical research landscape in India and the proposed reforms in research and higher education in India.

"Much like DFG did during the French reform process of the science funding system we see our role in the initiation of a meaningful dialogue with the Indian side so as to provide some benchmarks for the possible design of funding programs. While we greatly admire the efforts of the Indian government on this front, we wish to start interacting with the Indian side at an early stage of these reforms so as to assist in creating a similar Indian body with corresponding structures – we hope that a better synchronization of mechanisms would benefit the scientific community on both sides," he said.

Prof.Dr. Ing Matthias Kleiner was one of the chairs of the “Ethics Commission for a Safe Energy Supply”, which was appointed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the end of March this year. The members – representing different fields of the German society and scientific disciplines – were asked to advise the German government about risks of nuclear power and societal estimation of the targeted nuclear power phase-out.

"It is important to note that the Ethics Commission did not come to a single and homogenous viewpoint and does not want to proclaim “the one right way”. Without surrendering their fundamental positions, the members of the Ethics Commission have come to an agreement on the practical consequences which have been presented in the report," he said.
Speaking about nuclear power he said that, Germany does not recommend a global phase-out, but of course wants to promote its solution and stand as a model for a successful transformation of energy systems. "The commission states that the German turning point in energy usage may be of great importance for Germany’s role in international cooperation and in different fields such as foreign aid and climate protection. The commission does not explicitly recommend a global nuclear power phase-out. The authority ends at Germany’s borders, but we do in fact hope that Germany might function as a model for other nations to follow the abdication of nuclear power."

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 29 November 2011 )
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