Atal Innovation Mission & CSIRO to lead IA-ITC program

Mar 13: Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency, have joined hands by signing a Letter of Intent to encourage joint cooperation to drive innovation activities in areas of national challenges and shared priorities of both countries.

The move comes during the India visit of the Australian Prime Minister Mr Anthony Albanese as he met the Indian Prime Minister Sh. Narendra on 10 March 2023 in New Delhi. The meeting between the Prime Ministers spanned areas of mutual interest and explored avenues of strengthening bilateral engagement in a range of key areas with innovation as one key item.

The Letter of Intent between AIM and CSIRO calls for 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 program-specific interventions.

The core of the bilateral engagement is the India-Australia Innovation and Technology Challenge (IA-ITC) – a program envisioned to bring together the innovation ecosystems of India and Australia to address our shared environmental and economic challenges by supporting cohorts of start-ups and SMEs on their commercialisation pathways and bring to market innovative tech-based solutions spanning across the circular economy, energy transition and food system resilience etc. The program intends to leverage the complementary capabilities and resources of the innovation ecosystem of both countries.

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 the food system value chain.

“We are thrilled to partner with CSIRO on fostering innovation and co-developing the India Australia Innovation and Technology Challenge,” said Dr Chintan Vaishnav, Mission Director – AIM, NITI Aayog. “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 programs.”

“CSIRO is excited to partner with AIM and work towards solving shared global challenges. AIM has an impressive track record of fostering and leveraging world-class innovations and entrepreneurs. We look forward to combining our strengths and expertise to create scientific breakthroughs that make a real-world social, economic and environmental impact.” said Jonathan Law, Executive Director – Of growth, CSIRO.

AIM and CSIRO are currently working on the design and development of the IA-ITC program delivery model to ensure the IA-ITC is sustainable, innovative, impactful and aligns with the strategic interests of both India and Australia. The official launch of the program is expected to be in July 2023.

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