Home / News / World /  India, EU ink pact on climate, quantum tech

NEW DELHI : India and the European Union (EU) on Monday signed an agreement on cooperation in areas such as climate modelling and quantum technologies, building on the Trade and Technology Council launched by the two sides earlier this year.

The “Intent of Cooperation on High-Performance Computing (HPC), Weather Extremes and Climate Modelling and Quantum Technologies" was signed by India’s ministry of electronics and IT (MeitY) and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT) during a virtual ceremony.

The agreement builds on commitments by both sides for deepening technological cooperation on quantum and high-performance computing during the India-EU leaders meeting on 8 May.

“Moreover, the signing of the agreement assumes significance in the context of the decision to set up EU-India Trade and Technology Council (TTC)" on 25 April, an EU statement said.

The agreement signed on Monday aims to facilitate collaboration on high-performance computing applications using Indian and European supercomputers in areas such as bio-molecular medicines, covid-19 therapeutics, mitigating climate change, predicting natural disasters and quantum computing, the statement said.

The agreement was signed by MeitY secretary Alkesh Kumar Sharma and Roberto Viola, director general of the Directorate General of Communication, Networks, Content and Technology.

Sharma said high-performance computing is tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges, and the demand for such systems is increasing rapidly in various domains. Under this partnership, India and the EU will leverage expertise from both sides to optimise high-performance computing towards developing advanced technology solutions in multiple fields.

Viola said combining the experience and expertise of India and the EU and building on long-standing cooperation and trust can “help one another overcome the greatest challenges of our age, covid-19 and climate change".

The agreement will also allow the two sides to explore the frontiers of quantum technologies jointly, he said.

The India-EU TTC is a strategic mechanism that gives New Delhi access to advanced technologies and allows the two sides to set standards in crucial areas such as 5G and artificial intelligence.

This is the first such trade and technology council set up by India with any of its partners. For the EU, it is only the second such body, following the first one set up with the US.

The proposal for setting up the council came from the EU side, and India agreed to it as it will allow the two sides to work on issues such as 5G, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, climate modelling and health-related technology.

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