The Welcome Address by Ambassador Tomasz Kozlowski delivered at the EU Science Technology & Innovation Cooperation days on Bioeconomy in Goa on 21 September 2016 is given below
Dear Organisers, Researchers and Innovators,
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is my pleasure to be here at this leading research institute and welcome you all in Goa for this two day conference organised under the EU funded research projects INDIGO POLICY and INNO INDIGO. For the European Union, India is a strategic partner and cooperation on research and innovation is a strong component of this partnership.The European Union firmly believes that in fostering the cooperation on research and innovation, the realisation of many of our commitments and ambitions agreed between the EU and India during the last Summit held in Brussels in March 2016 will facilitate.
This is certainly the case, for example, for the Clean Energy and Climate Partnership between India and the EU or the Digital agenda: without increased efforts on research and innovation we will not achieve our goals.It is equally the case for the topic selected for this Conference Bio-Economy. Bio-economy covers a broad range of areas which require a lot of innovation and technology to achieve a low-emissions economy, reconciling demands for sustainable agriculture and fisheries, food security, and the sustainable use of renewable biological resources for industrial purposes, while ensuring biodiversity and environmental protection.
- An important part of Bio-economy relates also to the production of sufficient and safe food. To feed the estimated 9 billion population by 2050, it is estimated that the world food supply will have to be increased by 70 per cent.
- This rise in population and increase in food supply will affect global food chains and populous countries like India. Yet, this challenge can only be addressed together.
- The EU stands ready to cooperate with Indian scientists, researchers and innovators on all these topics to meet the challenges ahead of us.
- Let me also underline the economic importance of the Bio-economy. In Europe it represents two trillion Euros turnover and provides employment for more than 17 million people.
Research and Innovation in EU and India
- The EU is a major player in the worldwide research landscape. Despite having less than 10 % of the world’s population, it still generates about a third of the global scientific output.
- The EU is traditionally very open to cooperation with other countries and cultures.In this spirit, the EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, called upon Open science, Open Innovation and Open to the World.
- I know that India has very similar objectives on the role of research and innovation, in particular a focus on innovation, and on common societal challenges such as health, water, energy, ICT and bio-economy.
- This explains that, next to trade, research and innovation is probably the second area in which the EU-India cooperation has been the most intense and concrete in recent years.
- The importance of our cooperation was recently confirmed and strengthened at a high level meeting which took place in Delhi in November 2015.
- EU-India cooperation is already strong but there is always room for improvement. Based on our policy of Open to the World and India being a strategic partner, we expect to engage more on research with India.
- Our instrument called Horizon 2020 is a programme of nearly 80 billion € with calls on all societal challenges including on bio-economy during the period 2014 to 2020.
- Later today and tomorrow the cooperation opportunities and the modalities in Horizon 2020 will be discussed in more detail. This is very much to be welcomed and necessary to fulfil the commitments made by our respective political leaders.
- My role today is to encourage you to look actively for research and innovation opportunities on bio-economy and to establish together which topics are of mutual interest and what are the best ways and means to achieve our common goals.
- The recent institutional agreement between EC and Indian government on co-funding joint research projects is a positive development and opens doors to further enhance our partnership.
- Do take advantage during these two days to discuss these calls and engage in research consortia. And since I am at the marine institute, I would also like to share with you that the EU has launched a ‘Blue Growth’ initiative to contribute to the EU’s economy through technological, industrial and financial innovation.
- Blue Growth is the long term strategy to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole.The Blue Economy provides over 5 million jobs and approximately 4% of Europe’s Gross Domestic Product.
- In the Indian Ocean region, Blue Economy is important for food security, sea borne trade, coastal tourism, alternative source of energy and coastal urbanization.
- Again areas in which progress can be made and solutions found if we share experience, transfer knowledge and search for common innovative solutions. Our doors and Horizon 2020 are open to India to realise these challenges together.
- Let me finally bring to your attention that the European Commission is in the process of launching an ‘International Bio-economy Forum’ (IBF) with the purpose of creating an informal, flexible multilateral platform where global research and innovation partners could gather to discuss and act on common thematic challenges in the bio-economy.
- I encourage the Government of India, in particularly the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) to join this forum which will pave the way for stronger cooperation.
- By strengthening international linkages – either by engaging in joint projects and encouraging researchers’ mobility or participating in global fora, we will speed up the way to common solutions to our common challenges.
- This Conference with the different Workshops should contribute to these objectives.
- On this, I would like to thank you again for inviting me to this event and I hope it will effectively contribute to enhancing further research-based cooperation between the European and Indian industries, universities and research organisations.