The Science and Technology Department (SST) of the French Embassy integrates activities promoting research and scientific collaborations to encourage innovation. This includes substantial businesses attention and orientation to Public-Private Partnerships (PPP). Many French companies operating in India have established high-level research centers that lead to an increasingly important scientific dynamics in a growing number of areas. Several initiatives have been introduced by the French Embassy in this regard. To name a few: 1/ Several dedicated calls for proposals are being launched in public-private mode, 2/ An R&D Club has been setup by the Science and Technology Department, bringing together French enterprises based in India, 3/ In October 2013, Indo-French Technology Summit was organized in Delhi, catering academic institutes and companies, leading to public-private associations between the two countries.
1/ R&D Club
Science Department, together with the Economic Department at the French Embassy in Delhi, initiated the Club R&D India in 2012. The club’s first meeting held in Delhi in June 2012 with 13 French companies and has now brought together up to 40 French private actors. Representatives from various sectors are invited to regular meetings to share their valuable experiences, good practices, issues, pieces of advice, and success stories. The outcome of such R&D Club has resulted into the setting up of various R&D Centers in India working on research and innovation.
In this context, we can mention the research & development (R&D) centers of Alstom in Baroda, Danone in Delhi, EADS, Schneider Electric and L’Oréal in Bangalore (both inaugurated in 2014), Saint-Gobain and Renault in Chennai, Lafarge, L’Oréal and Total in Mumbai, Valeo in Pune. Some companies do not have full R&D centers but collaborate with Indian public research institutions or through subcontracting with private entities (like CRO, Contract Research Organisation).
Map: Research & Development Activities of French enterprises in India
2/ Opportunities in Public-Private mode
SST regularly launches dedicated calls for proposals in the public-private mode. You can find the latest opportunities on this page. These schemes have been implemented by the Indo-French Center for Promotion of Advanced Research (CEFIPRA). One of the recent developments of the CEFIPRA is to popularize innovation by enabling agencies and French companies and institutions to co-finance Innovation Programs with Indian actors. Some recent examples are mentioned below:
- During the visit of French Minister of Foreign Affairs M. Laurent Fabius in India in June 2014, Thales signed a Letter of Intent with IIT Delhi & Bombay, to launch a PhD Scheme (training 4-5 Indian students in Thales Laboratory) under the Cifre program. This officially will start in 2015 under the support of CEFIPRA for mobility costs and organisation of French classes, thanks to the MoU signed with ANRT.
- A Letter of Intent has been signed between the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) and CEFIPRA for the creation of EADS-CEFIPRA Aerospace Program. The agreement includes the launch of call for proposals, in the areas of avionics, composite materials, nanotechnology, high performance computing, applied mathematics and also launching of “EADS Postdoctoral Fellowship” in India. It focuses on young French scientists, sponsoring two or three postdoctoral fellows annually to pursue aerospace-related research work in top universities and R&D institutions in India.
- In late March 2014, a new Challenge programme in future public-private partnerships in biotechnology for health program was launched in collaboration with the Biotechnology Industry Research Council Support (BIRAC), Indian funding agency & CEFIPRA in a public-private partnership mode. The program follows the model of 2 + 2 public-private partnership scheme and must include at least one public researcher and French industrial and public scholar and Indian industrialist. This is the first call for Franco-Indian projects, which brings together the companies and academia from both countries. Two projects in the field of cardiovascular diseases diagnostic have been selected after this call in September 2014.
3/ Technology Summit
Another initiative, by the SST to promote public-private partnerships is the hosting of the “The Indo-French Technology Summit”, a large scale event held in October 2013 and organized in collaboration with Ubifrance/BusinessFrance. It catered 170 research institutes and more than 62 companies as participants in the technology showcases, and part of 27 thematic round tables. SST establishes dialogue between French and Indian SMEs by organizing events such as the Bangalore India Bio, or the Global Innovation Roundtable. During this Technology Summit, a first joint call for project was launched with Saint-Gobain (represented by the Director of Saint-Gobain Research India, Anand Tanikella) on “Sustainable habitats for hot and humid climates”. The themes highlighted included energy efficiency, quality air conditioning, natural light, composition roofs. Under that theme, 24 projects were submitted out of which top four were selected.
Click to know more about the Technology-Summit 2013.