India and the US announce Climate & Clean energy programmes

Dec 17: A programme to support India-US S&T-based entrepreneurial initiatives that address the development and implementation of next-generation clean and renewable energy, energy storage, and carbon sequestration has been announced to tackle climate and clean energy challenges.

The programme titled ‘Technology-based Energy Solutions: Innovations for Net Zero’ constitutes a call for Ignition Grants by the United States-India Science & Technology Endowment Fund (USISTEF), in partnership with Social Alpha, a non-profit organisation promoting S&T entrepreneurship. It will identify and support ‘technology showstoppers’ or promising joint India-US S&T-based entrepreneurial initiatives in this area.

Climate Change is one of the biggest challenges facing our world today, spurring the call for global collaborations to tackle this crisis. The launch of the U.S.-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 partnership in April 2021 reiterated the commitment of both nations to work together to achieve their ambitious climate and clean energy targets and to strengthen bilateral collaborations. The new program aligns with the goals of the U.S.-India strategic Clean Energy Partnership and will be administered by the bi-national Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF). The IUSSTF is a bilateral organization under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, and U.S. Department of State.

Formally launched by the USISTEF Co-Chairs, Mr. Sanjeev Varshney, Adviser & Head, International Bilateral Cooperation, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India and Mr. John Speaks, Minister Counselor for Energy, Environment, Science and Technology (Acting), U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, the program will address the pressing need for solutions that leverage cutting-edge, disruptive clean energy technologies to accelerate progress toward net-zero.

 “The role of collaboration in science and technology to deliver innovative solutions to address a global challenge is appreciable. A good demonstrable technology innovation to address a specific challenge in the focus areas having commercial viability is expected under the partnership of IUSSTF with Social Alpha,”Mr.Varshney said, highlighting the need of collaborative entrepreneurship.

Mr. Speaks stressed that USISTEF’s new initiative targeting innovations for net-zero is another example of the robust U.S.-India comprehensive global strategic partnership. It would use the power of the joint efforts of United States and India to trigger the development of new joint clean energy technologies to address the urgent climate crisis.

“We have to grow the innovation pipeline at an unprecedented pace and invest heavily to reduce green premiums on critical clean technologies and attract entrepreneurial talent to create new markets and industries to transition to Net Zero, while making sure everyone has access to clean, affordable and reliable energy,” Mr. Manoj Kumar, Founder & CEO, Social Alpha pointed out.

Dr.Nandini Kannan, Executive Secretary USISTEF and Executive Director IUSSTF,said that the programme urges the entrepreneur and research communities in India and the United States to come together and develop transformative solutions to tackle critical climate and sustainability challenges.

A panel of experts discussed the critical role of stakeholders, including industry, academia, financial institutions, government agencies, policy, and foundations, in the development of an enabling ecosystem to addressclean energy and sustainability challenges.  Speakers included Ms. Seema Paul, Program Director, Sequoia Climate Fund, Mr. Prashanth Prakash, Founding Partner, Accel, Dr.Praveer Sinha, CEO, Tata Power, and Dr. William Tumas, Associate Laboratory Director, National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

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