Scientific cooperation with India, “systematical advances” – Minister

  • Lusa
  • 7 December 2020

The minister of science said that the scientific cooperation between Portugal and India has advanced systematically, especially in areas such as marine robotics, nanotechnologies and biomaterials.

Scientific cooperation between Portugal and India has advanced systematically, the minister of science said, ahead of the remote technology summit between the two countries scheduled for December 7, 8 and 9.

Speaking to Lusa, Manuel Heitor said that the partnership with India has been mainly developed over the last three years, as a result of a diplomatic effort strengthened with the official visit to the country by Prime Minister António Costa a year ago.

Since then, bilateral cooperation has systematically advanced, “especially in areas such as marine robotics (autonomous sensors for the oceans), nanotechnologies and biomaterials, always with a strong digital component,” he said.

The technology summit will bring together researchers and entrepreneurs working in areas such as agriculture, water management, biomaterials, the interaction between oceans and space and climate.

“These are areas where the Indians have the scientific capacity and a great economic involvement, which for Portugal is particularly interesting,” he said, referring to another point of bilateral cooperation: environmental concerns.

In addition to bilateral scientific cooperation, the technology summit also has a very important political relevance because it precedes the summit between the European Union (EU) and India, scheduled for May during the Portuguese presidency of the council of the European Union.

The results of the scientific summit could be particularly important to leverage the collaboration between Europe and India, which will (…) focus on environmental issues and social relations,” Manuel Heitor said.

The minister for science, technology and higher education recalled the presence of Indian researchers at the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory in Braga, the Biomaterials Research Institute of the University of Minho and other scientific centres in Lisbon and Porto.

India does not have the internal capacity to train its entire population and Portugal wants to attract talent from India, young people, women and men to come and study or do research in Portugal, he said.

“Of course we have the capacity to [capture] more, but more than the number, the important thing here is quality,” he said.