Sweden and India recently announced the India-Sweden collaborative industrial research and development program at the India Smart Utilities Week. This collaborative effort will be co-funded by the Department of Science & Technology (DST) and the Swedish Energy Agency.
The primary object of this joint exercise is to address the challenges faced by both countries in the area of smart grids.
The agencies have created a funding mechanism that can be used by companies for joint research and development projects. The India-Sweden program aims to increase the joint research and development projects bringing the research organizations and academics from both countries together.
The Swedish Energy Agency has committed $2.6 million (~₹191.13 million) for four years for research in the field of smart grids. DST has also pledged the support of ₹180 million (~$2.44 million) for the development of new projects, products, and technologies.
Speaking on occasion, Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST, said, “With India raising its ambition for renewable energy manifold, research, development and innovation, the area of smart grids assumes high priority as the essential enabler. High research development and innovation investments, especially in partnership and collaborations, can accelerate smart grid technologies development in the near future.”
Echoing similar sentiments, Robert Andren, Director General, Swedish Energy Agency, said, “A sustainable energy supply is a prerequisite for all societies, and therefore we need modern power infrastructures that allow highly increased amounts of renewable energy. Another common challenge we share is the transformation into a fossil-free transport sector. These are just two examples of areas where India and Sweden can benefit from concrete co-creation and sharing experiences from each other.”
The first meeting between the two countries on innovation policy was held in New Delhi in December 2019 during the state visit of the King and the Queen of Sweden.
In September last year, a new leadership group led by India and Sweden was announced at the UN Climate Action Summit. The newly formed group will help guide the world’s heaviest greenhouse gas emitting industries toward the low-carbon economy.
Earlier, the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur had floated an expression of interest (EoI) for three smart grid field pilots combining renewable sources (solar and biomass) and storage (Lithium-ion and flow batteries). This is part of a project called U.S.-India Collaborative for Smart Distribution System with Storage (UI-ASSIST).
Rakesh is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).