Goa was the location selected for the exchanging of numerous cooperation agreements between INESC TEC and several Indian entities from Delhi, Chennai and Goa. The ceremony took place last February, chaired by the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and by the Chief Executive of Goa, Pramod Sawant. The event also marked the beginning of several initiatives of significant relevance for the scientific and technological development of both countries.
The cooperation agreements aim to accelerate the scientific progress in Portugal and India – through a structured alliance with the best Indian academic partners, including R&D and human resources exchange – and to create a new base in partnership with Goa entities, in order to explore the potential of INESC TEC’s management model for innovation and technology transfer and the creation of social and economic value – in India, but with Portugal’s contribution.
More specifically, INESC TEC formalised cooperation agreements with the two most prestigious engineering schools (no. 1 and 2 in the NIRF ranking of the Government of India, available here) – IIT Madras (Indian Institute of Technology, Madras) and IIT Delhi (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi) – and established an alliance through an initiative called CEMENT – Cooperation for Excellence in Marine Exploration and Navigation Technologies. This grouping based in Goa brings together INESC TEC, three R&D institutes (NIO, NCPOR and TERI), a university (IIT Goa) and a company (Goa Shipyard Ltd).
These cooperation agreements will help establishing an Indo-Portuguese centre of excellence in technologies in Goa, thus enabling the exploration of the oceans and navigation. INESC TEC’s expertise and skills, particularly concerning the TEC4Sea initiative, will actively contribute to said goal. Likewise, INESC TEC’s robotic, sensor and ocean communications technologies are of great interest, since they could improve the activities of India’s national R&D institutes in the oceanographic field (NIO) and the exploration of Antarctica (NCPOR).
The decision to establish cooperation agreements with India was made three years ago, following the rewarding experience with INESC P&D Brazil. Vladimiro Miranda, Associate Director of INESC TEC (International Affairs) mentioned that “with the exception of Goa, the image of Portugal is generally absent in India, even less as a technological country. However, there’s a significant number of potential opportunities for both countries”. The President of INESC P&D Brazil also said that “obviously, India is not like Brazil, and the cooperation solutions ought to be necessarily different”.
It is important to mention that the 13 agreements presented by INESC TEC constituted more than a third of the cooperation agreements signed between Portuguese and Indian organisations during the visit of Portugal’s President to India, in February.
The INESC TEC researcher mentioned in this news piece is associated with UP-FEUP.
Photo: Rui Ochoa, Presidency of the Portuguese Republic